An Alarming Anticipative Situation has been Formed in Armenia. Experts
The main players of the Armenian political field act in the frame of pre-electoral phase though a couple of days have passed after the local self-government elections and there is more than half a year for the parliamentary elections. New political players emerge, and the main topic of discussions is the parliamentary elections to be held in 2017. Political scientists spoke about this during the discussion at Media center.

Due to Karen Kocharyan, a political technologist, the local self-government elections, especially in Vanadzor, showed that now “candidates are bought and not voters” from the technological perspective. 

“In terms of technologies - stuffing in, stealing, painting numbers, the field has been much purified.  On the one hand, governmental changes have started from the top, and on the other hand, it seemed to be a very good chance to have opposition in Vanadzor. It is not compulsory to have government representative everywhere. First of all, the authorities did not want, if they did not undertake measures, they would become an opposition with their 15 votes. Further developments will show what it will give to the authorities, the political parties and people who made a trade with the authorities,’’ Kocharyan said.

Karen Kocharyan, Armen Grigoryan, political scientist, Coordinator of the Electoral Programs at Transparency International Anticorruption Center (TIAC) and Artak Kirakosyan, political scientist, Head of ‘’Institute of Civil Society’’ NGO, participated in the discussion “Developments in the internal political life after LSG elections’’ at Media Center on October 13.

Due to Armen Grigoryan, there was no stuffing in and switching off the electricity during the Local Self-Government election as there was no need to do it. “But it does not mean that it came out from the Armenian practice. For example, it was a little bit calm in 2012-2013. Last year the whole package of electoral violations was applied during the constitutional amendments. In general, the electoral violations depend on the situation. When the authorities cannot provide votes, it applies for any kind of election fraud. It is not a ground to think that the parliamentary elections process will also be smooth,” Grigoryan said.       

Grigoryan is confident that whether the authorities would make electoral violations, or not during the upcoming elections depends on how many votes they can provide.  

What concerns the preliminary setup of the political forces, Grigoryan ensured that there would be great changes in the political field. “It is possible that new parties and alliances will be established, but everything depends on the agreements obtained by the opposition before the elections. Now the authorities are consolidated. there are no serious problems inside. There is also a possibility for the opposition to be united. The elections showed that if the opposition does not get united, the votes are allocated and they face such a problem when many votes are lost, and a post-electoral  coalition is often very weak,” Grigoryan added.

Artak Kirakosyan considers the pre-electoral and post-electoral coalitions in Armenian to be inefficient. “We saw that even parties were dissolved at the National Assembly, forces with different ideas will hardly jointly work. I cannot imagine how the decisions will be made in that case. Since the 90s, we have seen that before the important votings deputies are induced through bribes and other means to vote for them. Maybe Vanadzor was not lucky to lose a better manager like Krist Marukyan but “Bright Armenia” was luck as it would be hard to work with such colleagues,” he said and added that the coalitions would be stable when they are based on ideology.

As a reply to Media Center’s request about the goals of the emergence of new players in the political field, the experts said that they are just for distracting people’s attention. “The government sends such people like Victor Dalakyan to that field in order to distract the public attention. What concerns the news that Dalakyan intends to open a party and Seyran Ohanyan will join him, I cannot imagine how the society can perceive him as an opposition,” Karen Kocharyan said.

In his opinion, an alarming anticipative situation has been formed in Armenia. “The situation in Armenia is such that even if people do not migrate from Armenia, they are in an anticipative situation. People do not work. Today’s government should turn the optimism to stability regardless the fact there are elections or not. There has been no strategy where we go for already 25 years,” the speaker said.

Artak Kirakosyan said that the government actions would have been productive if clear problems are defined and work to solve them. “The society should get back the role of actor. They should go towards the people, speak to them, and raise the issues. The desired result can be obtained in 6 months,” he said. 

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

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

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