Republican Party of Armenia boycotts special session in National Assembly, possibly driving opposition parties closer together.

“We need to put aside our narrow party and personal interests, consolidate and with a united agenda – and, why not, with a single candidate – contest the presidential election,” said Vartan Oskanian, former Foreign Minister and a leading Member of Parliament with the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), to a crowd of supporters that had gathered outside the Armenian parliamentary buildings on Wednesday 21 November. More…

Armenian Opposition proposes transition to Parliamentary Republic.

The Office of the President of Armenia in Yerevan.

Ahead of next year’s presidential elections in Armenia it is not yet clear who the contestants are going to be. But as Karina Gould reports for CEW the debate is shifting from personalities to process as radical new ideas for constitutional changes are proposed. The Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), the second largest faction in the Armenian National Assembly, while it has not confirmed whether it will be fielding a candidate in next year’s February Presidential election has indicated what kind of candidate it would support. Such a candidate, party spokesperson Naira Zohrabyan said, would be a “technical” president, willing to embark on the tough road of political reform seeking to implement a completely list-based proportional representation (PR) system for parliament, eradicating the single-mandate constituencies, and moving from a presidential to a parliamentary form of government in an effort to curtail the sweeping powers of the President in Armenia. More…

Oscanian case can backfire against Armenian authorities

Vartan Oscanian

After his political immunity was formally revoked in parliament at the beginning of October, former Foreign Minister and prominent opposition politician, Vartan Oskanian, was officially charged on 8 October with the misappropriation of $1.4 million donated by U.S. philanthropist, John Hunstman Sr. to the Civilitas Foundation, a think tank Oskanian founded in 2008.

Karina Gould followed reactions in Armenia and beyond for CEW. More…