“It is evident that the authorities want to stall for time by discussing minor issues,” “Hraparak” writes in a commentary on the ongoing dialogue between the government and the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). “True, they have agreed to discuss the HAK demand [for fresh elections] but that doesn’t mean the issue of early elections is a subject of the HAK-government negotiations. It’s only one of the issues under discussion. Therefore, one must not wait impatiently for the authorities to agree to that. Also obvious are the HAK’s contradictory tactical ploys.”
Lragir.am also sees such contradictions, saying that the HAK has described the dialogue as a massive boost to Armenia’s democratic future and international reputation but at the same time continues to brand government leaders crooks. “It is not surprising that the authorities talk to the opposition with the same contradictions,” says the online publication. There are no signs yet that the dialogue could yield any tangible results, it adds.
In an interview with “Aravot,” Artsvik Minasian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), criticizes the HAK for repeatedly stating that various-level election commissions must be fully appointed by the president of the republic or the government. “This is how the central and district commissions are formed today,” he says. Minasian says they therefore cannot be impartial. “The commissions must either be formed by the authorities and the opposition on a fifty-fifty basis … or full responsibility [for conducting elections] should be assumed by the authorities. But in that case, the opposition should take over effective oversight and appeal mechanisms,” he says.
Davit Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, tells “Zhoghovurd” that it is “not easy” for the Karabakh Armenians to achieve their renewed direct participation in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks. “Azerbaijan refuses to accept that and have an alternative: to halt negotiations,” he says. “But is this better than negotiations held in a flawed format?”