New Poll Indentifies Political Forces

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Without forming election blocs no political party in Armenia will be a majority in Parliament–the officer of the John Kennedy Institute of Management–Harvard University–Artur Martirossian said at a news conference Tuesday. Martirossian–who is the director of the program of settling conflicts in the territory of the former USSR–drew this conclusion from the results of an opinion poll which as conducted all over Armenia’since October. 2,800 respondents participated in the latest opinion poll.

Martirossian said that–if the Communist Party of Armenia and the People’s Party of Armenia form an election bloc–the number of vote they can receive will hardly increase. However–the optimal effect would occur if the NDU and SDU form a bloc. The two parties would garner 2.5 times as many votes–radically changing the membership of the parliament.

Martirossian–who is the advisor to and expert at the Center for Studying Public Problems and Assistance–pointed out that only seven out of the 70 public and political organizations registered in Armenia can be regarded as corresponding to international standards of democracy. These are ARF–CPA–SDU–ANM–RPA–NDU–and PPA.

According to him–one of the signs of a party’s viability is the correlation between the votes cast for this party and its party leader. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation meets this standard–as it receives several times as many votes as its leader. The National Democratic Union–Social Democratic Union and CPA also meet this standard–as they receive 40 percent as many votes as their leaders. The PPA can’t be considered full-fledged–as the party itself receives 40 percent fewer votes as its party leader. It is not excluded that this party’s fate will be the same as that of the parties which are formed not on the basis of ideology–but around a person–the leader.

Martirossian said that "in this atmosphere of unexpected formation and breakup of parties" the ARF and SDU display obvious stability. "If the stability of the ARF’s electorate is the result of its historical halo–that of the SDU’s electorate is based on the necessity for having a party operating in accordance with Christian principles–and on the principles of this party in building up an independent statehood," Martirossian said. He added that "it testifies that the SDU’s rating can be expected to rise sharply within the next years."

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