Monday, 27 May 2019

E Editorial

Elections in black and white scenery

The beginning of the election campaign for the election of the Council of Elders of Yerevan was marked by a scandalous publication of a telephone conversation between the heads of the National Security Service and the Special Investigative Service. This action immediately determined the concept of the election campaign of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s team. The latter stated at the rally that the country's political forces are divided into "black" and "white", and the essence of the upcoming elections is the choice between the revolution and the counter-revolution.

He called the backbone of the former corrupt officials and oligarchs headed by the second and third presidents of Armenia. At the same time, he attributed many forces to the camp of the "blacks", who, in asserting the support of the revolution, in fact, cooperate with the counter-revolution. And, in the end, the leader of the revolution called on the people not to give a single voice to all these forces without specifically mentioning them. The goal of the elections was proclaimed the complete capitulation of the counter-revolution, which should be achieved by a convincing victory with a crushing advantage over all other forces.

In substance, the fact of the announced wiretapping of the leaders of these services led to the strengthening of the policy of the new government for the political isolation of representatives of the displaced regime. The latter, appealed for help in the PACE, accusing the government of political persecution of their predecessors. The election campaign got its black and white scenery, and the political parties participating in the elections began to wonder, in bewilderment, at what camp they are in?

Under such conditions, two circumstances are of interest: what determines the choice of the Prime Minister’s pre-election concept described? - and what can be the political niches of the numerous parties participating in the elections?

Without any doubt, it can be argued that the Yerevan City Council elections are considered as a mechanism to ensure conditions for the achievement of early parliamentary elections. It is for this purpose that the Prime Minister demonstratively expressed his distrust of all parliamentary parties participating in the elections, aiming to deprive them of the support of voters and, thereby, of political influence. First of all, it concerns the parties “Prosperous Armenia” and “Dashnaktsutyun”. Apparently, in order to achieve the future consent of all parliamentary forces to hold early elections to the National Assembly, it is necessary to "break" these parties. It is not by chance that the Republican Party, which has the largest faction in the current parliament, refused to participate in the current elections to the mayor's office -- an imminent failure would mean a complete political bankruptcy for it. But so, they can hope for some changes in the public consciousness, capable of weakening the position of the government.

As for the other parties participating in the elections, they face a difficult task. The votes of which electorate should they hope for, if it is under the influence of the ideological scheme "revolution-counter-revolution"? The threat of counter-revolution from the government will force many voters to vote for "revolutionaries." Supporters of RPA not participating in elections are not clear in their intentions and preferences. There are not so many people who are dissatisfied with the new government. It is difficult to criticize the new government - you can become the opponent of the revolution. It is difficult to collect votes by old methods (bribery, serving the current government). There is no precedent of expression of the free will of citizens in the country - there is only hope for the possibility of it. In this scenario, it is not easy to determine the third niche for itself. This requires a convincing positive platform. And where to get it, and how to bring such a platform to the voters against the backdrop of black and white scenery?

So far, only questions -- the country for the first time has a chance to hold free elections. It is very unusual for the candidates and the voters.

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