Experts do not Exclude a New Political Crisis in Armenia
Although a few months are left for the parliamentary elections, there is no outlined activity in the political process. The political forces are engaged in the negotiations on developing formats of alliances and pre-election cooperation. As experts said, almost no political force managed to establish political capital, which would make them convincing during elections.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for April 2 in Armenia. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of these elections for the country's political life because after the constitutional amendments Armenia is making the transition to the parliamentary government system. The institute of president becomes formal and deprived of the primary mandate, so the parliamentary elections are decisive for the palette of the political system.

“National Assembly elections make political parties be involved in discussions, taking into account the transition to a parliamentary system, the requirements of the Electoral Code, also considering the issues of providing a sufficient number of candidates in the lists and complementing resources. The behavior of parties shows that they are unlikely to solve that problem alone,” Stepan Safaryan, Chairman of the “Center for International and Security Affairs”, Political Analyst, said.

A discussion entitled “Domestic Political Reshufflings and Developments before the Parliamentary Elections”was held at Media Center on January 13, attendedbyStepan Safaryan, Armen Baghdasaryan, political analyst, Armen Grigoryan, political scientist.  

According to Armen Baghdasaryan, the launching of the parliamentary elections is rather passive. "At this point, the political forces only discuss the issue of forming alliances. They only care about one thing - to enter the Parliament. However, they do not rush to discuss what to do after that, how to change the harsh situation in the country," he said, adding that this is the reason that the programs and ideologies of the political forces are also similar.

Armen Grigoryan thinks that the political processes will stimulate during the campaign. During the elections, the opposition will be able to become a factor if it is consolidated and take certain steps to convert the mistrust among the society towards the authorities in favor of itself. "There have been changes in the political system, and now the forces should realize that today they will fail to achieve success on a personal level, teamwork is required," he said. 

From this perspective, due to Stepan Safarayn’s opinion, only one institute can have a genuine alternative political agenda. It is “Yelq” alliance composed of "Civil Contract", "Bright Armenia" and "Republic" parties which may raise the issue of Armenia's domestic and foreign policy reforms.

“I cannot imagine that, for example, Seyran Ohanyan-Vardan Oskanian alliance can bring any alternative concept, because he can never be opposed to the Madrid principles or be against the Eurasian Economic Union. The same applies to the Prosperous Armenia Party. However, there is a pole, having the potential. This refers to the "Yelq" that is capable of pushing the issue of Armenia's internal and external reforms. Let's wait for their program," he noted, adding that other opposition powers have the same agenda "Let's remove the Republican Party to come instead of them".

Armen Grigorian said that there is not much ideological difference between political parties, and therefore no force has yet been able to offer conceptual solutions. 

“At the same time, the government is unable to get public support, which leads to the radicalization of public sentiment under the absence of a strong opposition. That is why the system has suffered several crises in recent years such as "Electric Yerevan" or the activities of "Sasna Dzrer" group," he said, agreeing with the idea that the state has actually turned into a fire truck.   

“It responds to emergency situations, tries to find different ways to solve them. At the same time, the scope of the problems does not decrease but it accumulates. Public discontent continues to expand. And under the current system it is fraught with the danger of a new crisis," the political scientist said.   

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected].

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