Friday, January 25, 2013

or because they are not really opposition parties...?

[...]or because they are not really opposition parties[...]

 This is the feeling I get when I look at the political scene in Armenia. Below is an excerpt from the the blog post by Katherine Leach, the UK Ambassador in Armenia.

We really welcome President Sargsyan’s commitment to holding Armenia’s best ever election.  But it is disappointing that three of the key non-government parties in parliament are neither putting up a candidate of their own nor backing any other.  Are these parties not standing because they lack finance, because they lack trust in a fair result, or because they are not really opposition parties as we would normally understand the concept?  If they lack finance, is it because potential wealthy backers are concerned about what will happen to their businesses if they back the wrong horse – or because they have not found a way of communicating their message in a way which would inspire donations from the general public?  (It’s interesting that, despite predictions to the contrary, President Obama raised more funds than Mitt Romney in 2012, largely thanks to his success in connecting with voters and activists and getting many small donations of under $200).  In monitoring the campaign and talking to members of all the parties over the next month, we’ll be doing our best to understand what more could be done to promote a truly vibrant spirit of political competition.     
But after over a decade of elections badly marred by fraud, perhaps the biggest challenge for the Armenian authorities in this election is trying to rebuild and win the trust of its people and partners. Will this happen? I very much hope so.  Looking from the outside, it seems to me that the following three areas are crucial ones for state authorities to focus on during the election period – and in the follow-up period afterwards
For the full post, please follow this link: