By signing an agreement to endorse President Serzh Sarkisian in the 2013 elections, Armenia’s ruling coalition parties attempted to reinforce their positions for the upcoming 2012 parliamentary elections and the subsequent presidential race.
For the Republican Party of Armenia, Prosperous Armenia and the Country of Law parties, the announcement was a way to assert their rule and block opposition forces from gaining ground or, for that matter, having a voice in government.
The declaration will set Armenia back with grave consequences for its future and any hope for advancement of democratic norms in the country.
In their declaration, the parties claimed to have protected Armenia and its citizens from dangers to national security, economic collapse as a result of the global crisis and ridding the government of corruption and bribery.
Yet a quick glance at their rule, since the 2007 parliamentary elections, only shows that there have been no tangible advances in Armenia, and in some cases, there have been gross violations of human rights and an effort to endanger Armenia’s national security.
“Today the coalition forces have more than 100 deputies,” Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Rustamian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Friday. “Can their presence get any bigger? At whose expense? Must there be no opposition at all in this country?” The coalition has vowed that its campaign for the parliamentary elections will yield even more seats in parliament.
ARF Bureau chairman, Hrant Markarian said: “In effect, a dictatorship, a totalitarian system is thus being formed in the government camp.”
If anything, the signing of the declaration should send a clear signal to Armenia’s electorate that the fate of the country and its government is in the hands of the people. For 20 years, successive regimes have used coercion, intimidation and vote rigging to assume power and amass incomprehensible wealth at the expense of the country’s well-being.
The ruling elite must not be allowed to bulldoze through yet another set of elections, through which it aims to cement its hold on both the legislative and executive—and as a result judicial—branches of the government and without the checks and balances continue to govern with impunity and reckless disregard toward the aspirations of its citizens and the Armenian nation.
The people must rise up and learn their rights, empower themselves and take part in elections as informed voters and concerned citizens.
The ARF’s campaign, announced earlier this week and officially launched on Friday, aims to bring together all facets of society under one tent and engage all voters to take party in a massive electoral reform campaign. The people of Armenia must come together and defeat the ruling coalition’s effort to further solidify its hold on Armenia.