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January 24, 2013

ACNIS Considers “2013 Presidential Elections: Odd Situation?

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today held a roundtable discussion to explore and explicate the situation - as well as public perceptions related thereto - revolving around the overall electoral system, its mechanisms and issues in light of the upcoming February 2013 presidential election in the Republic of Armenia. The main objective of the discussion was to offer professional assessment and analysis with respect to the major challenges impeding the conduct of free and competitive elections in Armenia.

ACNIS director of research Manvel Sargsian welcomed the audience with opening remarks and underscored the importance of public perceptions with respect to the integrity of the overall electoral process in general and public expectations prior to the conduct of elections in particular as detrimental factors undermining the legality of the electoral process and generating public mistrust. “Given the overall mistrust and apathy toward the electoral process as a medium of change, he wrapped up, “the society is left face to face with the ruling regime.”

The event featured brief presentations from ACNIS analyst Edgar Vardanyan and Armen Martirosyan, the deputy chairman of the Heritage Party, who highlighted some of the major issues with respect to the competitiveness of the election process, subtle and sophisticated forms of administrative and media manipulations as generating loss of faith in the election process altogether.

Drawing upon the historical experience of other countries, ACNIS analyst Edgar Vardanyan underscored the game changing partnership between opposition movements and civic activists as an important feature of successful political campaign to bring about the desired change. Armen Martirosyan, in his turn, stressed the importance of civic activism and public pressures- as opposed to a mere boycotting posture- as an effective way to generate change in the Armenian political setting.

The discussion was proceeded by questions and answers with an active engagement of media representatives.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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