Friday, 02 October 2020

E Editorial

Election campaign in captivity of fakes

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The pre-election campaign in Yerevan was held in an extremely nervous atmosphere. Initially imposed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan the concept of "fighting counterrevolution" quite successfully hindered the actions of the political forces participating in the elections. Having no experience of participation in free elections, the parties were at a loss and succumbed to the Prime Minister's intrigue. The pre-election campaign of several parties was reduced to endless complaints about the team of the Prime Minister and to threats to "fall out" with him. First of all, it concerns the members of the pro-governmental coalition: The “Prosperous Armenia”, the “Republic” and the “Bright Armenia” parties. Nikol Pashinyan was offered to apologize for the fact that he ranked these parties to the camp of "black forces". Moreover, it was unequivocally stated that an agreement on snap parliamentary elections could be revised.

Why did these parties need such a polemic? After all, in the end, all of them began to position themselves as opponents of the Prime Minister, involuntarily associating themselves with the "black forces". It would be more logical to ignore Pashinyan's intrigue and conduct an independent election campaign without regard for the actions and statements of the latter. In this case, the revolutionary speeches and appeals of the Prime Minister at the rallies would lose their effectiveness in influencing the consciousness of voters. So, by the way, many other parties have acted, staying away from the "revolution-counterrevolution" line. They were not provoked to an artificial confrontation with Pashinyan.

Apparently, the coalition friends could not discern the meaning of Pashinyan's election strategy and evaluated it only as a reckless "street brawl". The Premier himself in every way strengthened this erroneous assessment of his partners in the coalition, lavishly voicing phrases such as "put to the wall," "laid on asphalt," etc. The endless reminders of Pashinyan's supporters about pre-election bribes in past elections were indirectly referred to the Prosperous Armenia Party, which could not get rid of the image of the pre-election bribe-giving force. But the most interesting thing was that these parties succumbed to the onslaught waves of anonymous sources of discreditation, and could not stay on top and fell into the "world of fakes".

Toward the end of the election campaign, the real political world of party figures narrowed to the world of fakes from social networks. It was funny to listen to the public complaints of candidates for the fake’s campaign discrediting their campaign. The plane of a constructive conversation with voters disappeared, reducing meetings with voters to complaints about these virtual sources of negative information. Even threats were voiced to find and punish these fakes.

One way or another, the first free elections in the country in recent decades have shown that the current political class in Armenia is not ready for new realities. The methods inherent in the previous elections, such as blackmail and bribery of voters, the use of administrative resources, collusion with the acting authorities, etc., are impossible or ineffective. Ability to influence the consciousness of voters with convincing programs did not manifest. Accordingly, the election campaign would inevitably degenerate into a public intrigue based on images of virtual threats.

How the society reacted to everything described, the vote will show. It remains only to hope that the voters will be more rational and will not change their real world to the world of virtual threats drawn by politicians.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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