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08 April 2012 Election Campaign officially kicks off in elections that will define Armenia’s future in a way that none of the others have.

Armenia's Parliamentary Election Campaign officially starts today. Campaigning will go on until 4 May, after which there will be a one day of silence during which the voters will have a chance top reflect on their choice of parties and candidates.

Analysts say that the 2012 Parliamentary Elections will define Armenia’s future in a way that none of the others have, and the stakes are high for all concerned.

Eight parties and one party bloc were registered for the proportional component of the elections, and 155 candidates were registered in the 41 single-mandate constituencies under the majoritarian component. The number of registered voters number just under 2.5 million.

LINKS has published the first in a series of analytical briefings on the Armenian elections, available on the website www.links-dar.org, in which it says that:

"As in the other South Caucasus countries, past elections in Armenia have been marred by irregularities and claims of fraud. Many feel that this time round it is simply not possible to have a repetition of the same. The opposition, which already feels it has been cheated in the 2008 Presidential elections, consider this the final chance for the system to redeem itself. A similar view is taken by western countries who have given a clear signal to the Armenian government that future relations will depend on the conduct of these elections. The government has taken the hint and accepted the challenge. It is trying hard to win the election without the need for fraud, deploying its best people on the election campaign and trying hard to put its message across to the electorate. The next few weeks will show to what extent they will be true to their words. There is a good chance that they will, but equally there is a chance that at the last moment they will lose their cool and revert to the old habits."

source: commonspace.eu with www.links-dar.org

photo: collage of the logos of the nine parties and blocks contesting the 2012 Parliamentary elections in Armenia (picture courtesy of A1+.am)

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