However, in contrast to the diversity of the participating political forces in the parliamentary elections, only three political units participate in the struggle for the management of the capital: the ruling Republican Party, the opposition "Yelq" (Exit) Alliance and newly-established oppositional "Yerkir Tsirani" (Land of Apricot) party. Other political forces that had a chance to get seats in the City Council through the elections are not taking part in this electoral event for various reasons.
Voting results of April 2 showed that it is impossible to achieve power via elections because people vote under the influence of money. “Whereas the impact of bribes was 35-40% and was mainly in the regions, now its scope expanded drastically also in Yerevan. Conventionally saying, if election bribes were distributed among 800 people, 600 of them display an electoral behavior in favor to the political force that gave money. In these circumstances, to participate in Yerevan elections for example for Tsarukyan Alliance that was the second with its votes in the Parliamentary Elections is meaningless,” Armen Badalyan, Political Technologist, said.
Armen Badalyan, Political Technologist, Armen Grigoryan, Political Scientist, Hakob Badalyan, Political Commentator, participated in the discussion entitled “Pre-Election Developments on the Upcoming Elections of the Yerevan Council of Elders” at Media Center on April 11.
Armen Grigoryan said that the April 2 parliamentary elections played a decisive role in a fact that only 3 political forces participate in Yerevan Council elections. He thinks that during the Parliamentary elections not money is so much a decisive factor but the administrative resources. “In this context, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation's decision is due to the fact that 20 percent of their votes are in Yerevan; the remaining 80 percent are in regions. This was obvious after the elections on 2 April. The most votes ARF received in Shirak marz as the administrative governor of the region is from ARF. "Tsarukyan" Alliance also has fewer votes in Yerevan than in the regions. This party received the most votes in Kotayk region of Armenia due to the fact of Gagik Tsarukyan, also in Ararat region. And here the election results are the consequence of "dried streams separated from the mother river" (it is about Hovik Abrahamyan who left the Republican Party of Armenia and is Tsarukyan’s relative - ed.),” the political scientist said.
Armen Badalyan contrasted Grigoryan saying that “Tsarukyan” Alliance was allowed to distribute bribes but they were not allowed to bring people to the polling stations which caused few votes in Yerevan.
Armen Grigoryan also noted that “Yelq” Alliance received the majority of its votes in Yerevan during the Parliamentary Elections so the participation in the Yerevan Council Elections is an option of capitalizing that electorate. “What refers to the participation of “Land of Apricot” Party it is a newly-established force that will participate in the political processes, it will become more popular, its name will be circulated,” Armen Grigoryan said.
Hakob Badalyan noted that after the parliamentary elections there is usually energy stored in the society, which is consumed through the elections of the Yerevan City Council. A similar situation occurred after the presidential elections in 2008 and 2013. In these elections, the participation of the Prosperous Armenia Party has always had a role of a buffer. “Now there is no need for it because this time there is no tension after the elections, there is no need for his participation and spending money,” Badalyan said.
In the end, the experts noted that despite the fact the opposition would be unified before the Yerevan Council Elections or not, it has no chance of winning anyway. "The opposition will get as many votes as the Republicans would give them, it is about 25 percent. The Republicans have their electorate; their objective is that at least three political forces participate in the elections because it is a legal requirement and it will make competitive illusion,” Armen Badalyan said.
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Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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