Parliamentary elections 2012: Pro et contra Heritage party

Political experts Karen Kocharyan, Alexander Iskandaryan:

Parliamentary elections 2012: Pro et contra Heritage party

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 Heritage party’s electoral list?
Kocharyan: Heritage list is the most interesting due to inclusion of representatives from Free Democrats and public sector. At first it faced criticism, but after proper analysis it became evident that the party’s rivals were the main slammers. I can’t point out anything negative in the list, just the opposite; the party leader Raffi Hovhannisyan’s charisma can bring real success to it. Certain electorate still has faith in Heritage.

Heirtage is the only party among the 6 main political forces running for parliament that has never been in power. Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) is the ruling party; Prosperous Armenia is part of coalition, and yet it is associated with Robert Kocharian, who represents the previous government; Armenian National Congress (ANC) is the first power; ARF Dashnaktsutyun representatives have been involved in coalition; Orinats Yerkir party is also a coalition member. Heritage has never been in power, and its leader has never been Armenian President. In other words, it is not involved in “Bermuda Triangle of the three presidents.”

Iskandaryan: Heritage’s candidates list is quite interesting. Yet the part of the list which is likely to make it to future parliament is worth considering. The top numbers of the list try to create certain image; they try to play in different fields.

Heritage tries to advance its positions in the nationalistic field, in the field of civil initiatives, which may be termed as “environmental field”, given its whole story of booths in Mashtots Park.

They pursue more or less correct activity through engaging civil society members. The party has quite eclectic staff, which maintains the tradition of working with different electorates. On the one hand, this creates tangible chances for them to overcome the 5% barrier due to its merger with the Free Democrats. On the other hand, they are forced to provide Free Democrats with parliamentary seats. Though the strategy they have adopted allows them to gain 5%, it doesn’t allow them to garner serious number of votes. The idea of promoting Western methods in a non-Western society usually brings about such consequences. This minimizes the party’s chances to become a serous political force.

What’s your opinion about Heritage election program?
Kocharyan: The only thing I dislike about Heritage party is their motto. If their motto “Coming to power” implies parliamentary power, they are already in the National Assembly. This is a rather unintelligible motto. After all, elections are a set of components, with organization process, as well as the ability to stand up for own votes as the most important among them. In this respect, the party has certain correct symbiosis; symbiosis of poets and physicists, with Raffi Hovhannisyan acting as poet and Free Democrats as the physicists.

Iskandaryan: Heritage election program includes elements that no other party program except for ARFD comprises.

They reflect on the Armenian-Turkish issue, though I wouldn’t consider it quite topical for the current political reality.

What are the party’s chances at the oncoming parliamentary elections?
Kocharyan: I deem the Armenian National Congress (ANC) as the current opposition leader. During every elections, there is a party that comes up with certain surprises: Shamiram party back in 1995, Orinats Yerkir – in 1999, Heritage in 2007.

Heritage’s exceeding ANC by the votes garnered at the upcoming race may be the only surprise of this year.

Iskandaryan: Heritage has real chances to make it to the next parliament. It even surpasses has Orinats Yerkir with its chances. As they run by a single list, they need 5%, instead of the 7%.

Hayk Khalatyan / PanARMENIAN News