Parliamentary elections 2012: Pro et contra ARF Dashnaktsutyun

Karen Kocharyan, Alexander Iskandaryan:

Parliamentary elections 2012: Pro et contra ARF Dashnaktsutyun

PanARMENIAN.Net - On the threshold of Armenian National Assembly elections due on May 6, PanARMENIAN.Net continues to focus on the main participants of the pre-election race. Well known Armenian experts - political techniques specialist Karen Kocharyan and Caucasus Institute director, political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan shared their views on the electoral lists, programs and chances of the parties at the forthcoming elections.
How would you assess ARF Dashnaktsutyun party’s electoral list?
Kocharyan: Dashnaktsutyun’s list mainly comprises party members except for the owner of Armenia-Lada Karen Shahmuradyan. This is not surprising as it has always been a party and political list.

ARFD’s only problem is its inability to abandon the composition of leaders who have already lost a number of elections including those of Council of Elders of Yerevan and presidential elections. Though changing defeated leaders is an old tendency, Vahan Hovhannisyan, who ran for president in 2008, tops ARFD electoral list.

As for the rotation of the rest of members in the list, it is not the first time; they experienced it long ago.

Iskandaryan: I deem the ARFD list quite expected. This kind of policy is traditional for the party. As for updating the party list, it requires work. The first part of the list is the most important, the part which is sure to make it to the parliament.

Your opinion about ARF Dashnaktsutyun election program.
Kocharyan: The party focuses on its program during the election campaign, as if advertising it. However, I don’t understand why they keep talking about program points they are going to implement, without underlining the methods how to bring them to life. This is the drawback of all the party programs: everybody stresses their willingness to make a change, but the question is how.

As for ARFD leaders’ statement that only they have specified figures in their election program, it may be recalled only in case of gaining parliamentary majority, i.e. coming to power, which will keep them accountable for whatever they have achieved or failed to achieve. However, as it poses no threat to them, these words won’t be put into action.

Iskandaryan: The program of ARF Dashnaktsutyun differs from those of other parties in several ways. It reflects on the Armenian-Turkish issue. Though I wouldn’t consider it topical for the current political reality, it conveys certain significance for attracting the nationalistic electorate.

What are the party’s chances at the oncoming parliamentary elections?
K. Kocharyan: ARF Dashnaktsutyun’s chances are as usual as they enjoy specific electorate. Had they been part of the authorities and coalition back in 2007, they would have used administrative resources and would have had three ministries and government executives. Though they currently lack the administrative resources factor, they are sure to garner 5%.

Iskandaryan: I attribute ARFD to those parties that have vested chances to make it to the next parliament. Though they are unlikely to gain majority, they will doubtlessly overcome the 5% barrier.

Perhaps, ARF Dashnaktsutyun is the only party with specific ideology that is likely to gain seats in the next parliament. It is one of the few, if not the only party which has not been personalized. It has over a century old image and an ideological bloc. In this respect, Dashnaktsutyun possesses quite standard electorate; it garners votes for the image, ideological and even the mental complex it has.

Hayk Khalatyan / PanARMENIAN News