Thursday, 13 December 2018

E Editorial

Elections to the National Assembly of Armenia: one gate play

The very first days of the election campaign to the National Assembly of Armenia testified that no particular intrigue happened in the country. In spite of the fact that eleven parties and blocs take part in the elections, the election race turned into a “one gate game”, which is conducted by the acting Premiere Nikol Pashinyan. Having issued a vacation, he single-handedly began and intends to hold this game to the bitter end under the black-and-white flag. For this, he needed only one fake partner, in whose role the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia was very eager to join. The latter armed itself with the concept of blackmailing society by using the image of “Pashinyan leading the country into the abyss”. All the pieces in the situation are arranged. Society only has to go through this boring period in their lives.

Many consider the decision of the Republicans to participate in the elections devoid of any meaning. Indeed, to be one more time in the center of universal dispraise seems to be inexpedient. At the last elections of the Council of Elders of Yerevan, this party acted more abstrusely: It simply refused to participate. At this election, members of this party do not even dare to go out to a meeting with voters. Why then they need to participate in the elections?

The Republican Party of Armenia, in the form in which it was before, no longer exists. Being the ruling party, it was a typical party of power, which is inherent in many authoritarian regimes in many countries. Under the conditions of Armenia, this party of power was a "club of large owners", the membership in which was strictly regulated by property qualification. The presence in this "club" of a certain political wing, in fact, was intended to ensure the public needs of this club. Simply put, the members of the RPA kept a group of people who were supposed to provide a specific service to the corps of large owners - to convince the people that this club is a political party with a mandate of the people. For a long time, the described organizational chart effectively supported the activities of the RPA. However, time has shown that a party of this type can exist only under one condition. That condition is the possession of the levers of state power. With the loss of these levers large owners lose interest in the once-native "club". This happened in Armenia during the second half of this year. No matter how hard the leaders of the RPA and its former “political wing” tried to keep the party, major owners quickly fled. Some dutifully obeyed the demand of the new government and accepted the new rules of the game. Others went into the shadows and independently try to protect themselves from oppression. The “political wing” remained ownerless - there is no one else to provide paid services. And it is quite natural that a group of RPA members decided to independently pursue their own destiny, using the RPA brand. That is, not the former PRA entered the election race, but the list of figures under its brand. The task of these figures is to save the RPA brand by obtaining the minimum number of mandates in the National Assembly of Armenia.

Nikol Pashinyan was just waiting for this, especially as the RPA -- which longs to win the title of the only opposition of the authorities -- has itself seized and inflated the black-and-white thesis practiced by Pashinyan himself,  trying to force all other political forces out of the center of voters' attention. This eased Pashinyan’s position by allowing him to maintain in public mind the image of “the people's prime minister - the punisher of the plunderers of the people’s good.”. The Prime Minister quite deliberately lowered the level of polemics to street jargon, dropping the public statements of RPA members to this level as well. And so, passing the black-and-white apolitical spectacle to each other, the former and current authorities took the election campaign beyond serious politics. All political forces unwilling to participate in this controversy remained marginal. Their voices were simply lost in the maze of information flows.

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