Armenian elections 2012: political hypocrisy

Armenian elections 2012: political hypocrisy

Since the very start of its election campaign Prosperous Armenia showed obvious signs of political amnesia.

Parliamentary elections were held in Armenia on May 6, and people are now assessing their outcomes, pondering over expectations from the new “elects”; meanwhile, the political forces are summing up the results and considering their future moves and potential alliances. So, I decided to avail of the current political lull and sum up my own voting outcomes, sharing my views on each of the race participants.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Ruling coalition

Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) . RPA is the ruling party in the country, and that’s all; by saying ‘authorities’ we assume the RPA. It is the major power responsible for the situation in the country and solution of the current problems.

Considerable part of the Armenian population, neglecting their civil duties and not bothering to think about the country’s future, are ready to sell their future for several thousand of Armenian drams to those who pay more.

As some reasonable voices of the society state, given such attitude to elections, people in some 20 years might as well favor the referendum on surrendering Zangezur to Azerbaijan, with no remorse whatsoever.

Authorities must realize that if currently they benefit from such public attitude towards civil duties, these “citizens” will hardly be of any use for the state in case of jeopardy.

As to namely the elections, RPA has again dragged some notorious tycoons through the next parliament, together with several political bankrupts from other parties. All in all, they will again enjoy unshakable majority in the parliament.

Also, ordinary people are left now with the RPA’s electoral slogan “Believe to make a change”. They will definitely need belief, since after previous RPA slogans saying “All for you, Armenia” and “Go, Armenia” people saw no significant progress in their living standards, to say the least.

Prosperous Armenia . Since the very start of its election campaign Prosperous Armenia showed obvious signs of political amnesia. It perhaps forgot being a member of the ruling coalition, and strived to shift off the total responsibility for the hard social-economic situation towards its major partner, RPA. Some top members of Prosperous Armenia, in particular, ex-minister of foreign affairs Vartan Oskanian outdid radical opposition figures in slamming the authorities and the government.

In addition to political amnesia, the party appeared to have some eyesight problems: by unmasking the electoral bribery and use of administrative resources by RPA, it for some reason failed to see the same actions by its own representatives.

The incident with “Vertu phone” belonging to party leader Gagik Tsarukyan, or rather the comments it brought forward, is worth special mentioning. Oskanian was the only person brave enough to admit the truth, saying Tsarukyan did in fact carry a gun and not a “phone” allegedly stated by others.

However, Prosperous Armenia deserves some positive remarks as well, for its care for the development of the national agriculture; indeed, distribution of tractors ahead of elections had nothing to do with the voting. This was mere “charity”, of course, and not hidden PR and electoral bribe, as a dispassionate observer, unaware of the subtleties of Armenian political “charity” might have inadvertently thought.

Regrettably, the urge for charity and benefaction, also manifested in the neighborhood road renovation, is awakened in Armenian oligarchs only a couple of months prior to elections, to vanish shortly afterwards.

Still, this does not refer to Gagik Tsarukyan who, unlike many, proceeds with his charity activities after elections as well.

To sum up the Prosperous Armenia topic, I’d mention here the odd interpretation of the Armenian legislation by Gagik Tsarukyan. When Prosperous Armenia’s proxies were assaulted at a polling station during the voting day, Tsarukyan declared that those behind the incident “will be called to account before the law and him”.

Orinats Yerkir. The party took a thorny path to enter the National Assembly of the 5th convocation. Orinats Yerkir spared no effort to develop Armenia’s food industry during its election campaign (fortunately, agriculture minister shares same party membership), distributing national production jams to its supporters and ordinary people.

Import was not ignored either, with mobile phones brought to support the party in the voting. Leader of Orinats Yerkir, perfect political speaker and secretary of the National Security Council Artur Baghdasaryan again distinguished himself in duping the voters.

Opposition

Armenian National Congress (ANC) . The ANC had to pay a high price for its itch to play on alleged disagreements within the ruling coalition and spark a conflict between Prosperous Armenia and RPA. ANC supporters have hardly swallowed the process of the political dialogue with the authorities, and now they faced the need to take black for white, i.e. perceive Prosperous Armenia as no longer a part of the government.

ANC was also selectively struck blind with regard to violation of electoral legislation, believing that only RPA and its appendix Orinats Yerkir could break the law, unlike the Prosperous Armenia that suddenly became dear to the opposition bloc.

Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian blaming current authorities for election fraud was also rather touching; the present leadership just follows the path paved in 1990 by pioneer first president and his Armenian National Movement team, improving their methods to hit new heights.

Voters were perhaps puzzled by this complicated logical trick, and did not provide the support ANC expected to get: Ter-Petrossian and his team definitely expected to garner far more than just 106000 of votes.

Therefore, the ANC leadership had to claim at its May 8 rally its intention to appeal against the voting result in Armenia’s Constitutional Court (being totally aware of vainness of such move).

The heap of charges addressed to “Kocharian-Sargsyan regime” aimed to merely conceal a simple and obvious thing, that is, ANC is heading for the next parliament, thus recognizing the voting results and its defeat in the recent vote.

ARF Dashnaktsutyun . During these elections Dashnaktsutyun compiled an original “political cocktail” in the inter-party anti-forgery headquarters with ANC (implying the Armenian National Movement) and Prosperous Armenia party, a combination which appeared quite perplexing for an ordinary voter.

Unlike Dashnaktsutyun leadership, the opposition voters did not understand that politics has no eternal enemies or friends, while goals sometimes justify methods and allies.

In this regard, an interesting picture emerged on May 6, with Dashnaktsutyun top member Vahan Hovhannisyan sharing a table with ex-president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian, who once jailed Hovhannisyan naming his a “terrorist”.

As a result of such cooperation, Dashnaktsutyun had to overlook violations of the electoral legislation by inter-party headquarters member Prosperous Armenia, and issued a belated May 8 statement saying that all members of the ruling coalition, including the Prosperous Armenia party, are to blame for electoral fraud, particularly the forged number of votes they “received”.

Heritage. In case of Heritage, its alliance with Free Democrats was the most interesting thing perhaps, liberal views being the only thing these two had in common. Heritage leader had way too romantic views with regard to political struggle in Armenia, while their allies, once prominent members of the Armenian National Movement and ANC, were too pragmatic.

The party’s supporters were somewhat confused to see “newcomers” rank on electoral list instead of those who served Heritage hand and foot and were quite active in their parliamentary activities. However, Heritage has been much illogical over the past years, with its contradicting statements and moves.

Last but not least . Participation and role of the Democratic Party of Armenia (DPA), Communist Party of Armenia and United Armenians party in the recent voting is similar to roles of actors whose names are listed at the bottom of the Cast section. All the three got less than 2% in total, running by “Participation is more important than victory” slogan.

I would also like to mention TV debates between majority system candidates running in constituency 2, RPA’s Samvel Farmanyan and ANC’s Vladimir Karapetyan. Both are educated people, even intellectuals, I’d say, which they however failed to demonstrate during the debates.

Both candidates were absolutely unable to listen to their opponent and follow the rules of a civilized discussion.

Following these debates, people just wondered: if this was the battle between the most calm and educated members of these political forces, what would debates between other notorious and passionate representatives be like? Just imagine debates between, say, RPA’s Ruben Hayrapetyan and ANC’s Nikol Pashinyan!

Hayk Khalatyan / PanARMENIAN News
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