July 5, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
International Crisis Group has released a report regarding the challenges Armenia faces in preparing for the country's critical presidential election in 2013 called "Armenia: An Opportunity for Statesmanship." In many regards, Armenia made positive steps forward during the 2012 parliamentary elections with more balanced media coverage and more respect being shown to free assembly, free movement and free expression. Despite the ruling Republican party winning a majority in parliament, the election was still deemed as competitive with the ruling party's former coalition partner Prosperous Armenia coming in second and the opposition Armenian National Congress returning to parliament after a 10 year absence. Nevertheless, electoral fraud was still an issue in the May 6 election. In order to address the pressing foreign and domestic issues Armenia is currently facing, an open and transparent presidential election in 2013 is needed to help usher in a new era of reform.