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Friday, 27 April 2018


Armenian against all

15.02.2013  |  18:25

Armenian against all. 29074.jpeg

Despite the fact that the presidential candidates in Armenia are every way trying to "sell" themselves to the voters, the Armenians would be glad to vote "against all". As shown by the results of electronic voting, the candidate "against all" might have become a real competitor to Serzh Sargsyan.


The current presidential race in Armenia could become a plot for a great tragicomedy. The images of the Armenian presidential drama are rather discrepant, the characters are contradicting each other and often contradicting themselves. The plot features all the tensity accumulated in the society.

This time, as it almost always happens in Armenia, public debate between the candidates has not taken place. The voter has not learned who was better. Of course, everyone knows who is "cooler" - incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan is unrivaled. But the arrogance of candidates exceeds the limit. Each considers himself a favorite in the election. Everyone wants to enter into debate with Sargsyan, while he does not want this for some reason. The reporters have to show the public the squabble between the candidates. The drama is exacerbated by the fact that often, instead of representing the electorate their programs, the candidates are showing off in front of the camera.

Parade commander in the presidential race is Serzh Sargsyan who is saying "thou" to the citizens. Then followed the "catchphrases" of Mr. Sargsyan. He compared his chances of re-election with the auction. "I can bet 70 against 100 (meaning the percentage of the vote. - Ed.)", Sargsyan said, responding to the journalist's naive question. Further, president makes a sharp turn and says kindly: "If our opponents win the election, we would congratulate them". Well, that was creative and unexpected.

Let's move to the most probable presidential rival, the prophet of the camp of the opposition Raffi Hovannisian. His shaking hands with citizens and talks about the fight between "good and evil" are aimed at getting from the voters most expensive to date product - voice. His goal is to get around the cities in Armenia on foot in 30 days to shake as many hands as he can and tells everyone in American-style, "God bless you". Hovannisian origins from the U.S. Startling leader of the opposition, inspired by the Bible, is campaigning in the format of perpetual conflict of "black and white, God and Satan". And this really irritates the president. Sargsyan is not willing the polarization of society, so he waves away from the dividing lines. Perhaps, the specter of the tragic events of March 1-2, 2008, is still alive in the country.

Hovannisian's rating may increase if he organizes a concert-meeting in the center of Yerevan, where such well-known singers from the Armenian diaspora as Serj Tankian, Arto Tuncboyacıyan and Harout Pamboukjian would sing for. All of them are his supporters.

The next candidate is Hrant Bagratyan, former Prime Minister of Armenia, an economist and a very interesting person. His name is associated with "wild" privatization in early 1990s and the destruction of the economy. His campaign resembles a lecture course on the efficiency of the economy. He has renounced the position of his opposition "family" - the ANC - not to participate in the election and desperately rushed to the presidential marathon. In general, the electorate does not understand the genius of the economic thought of the Armenian, experts hardly understand him, while the main object of his criticism - the current Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan- ignores him.

The last character of electoral tragicomedy is probably the brightest person - Soviet dissident, repeatedly exiled Armenian "Robinson" Paruyr Hayrikyan. Everywhere he sees the trail of Russian imperialism. The politician has remained in the Soviet era and is still struggling with the Soviet KGB. During the race he has suffered an assassination attempt, he was shot twice, but fortunately survived. But the story does not end there. After the assassination attempt Hayrikyan for 10 days was keeping the media and political field in captivity of a dilemma - to appeal to the Constitutional Court to postpone the election or not. He wrote and tore up the application to the Constitutional Court, as the hero of Shakespeare, long hesitating "to be or not to be".

The behavior of all the characters involved in the race shows one thing - everyone is trying to sell himself to the voters as he can. However, there is quite a logical question: whether the voters need this? Hardly. It's enough to walk the streets of any city or village and ask the citizens for whom they will vote. The answer will be simple: "For no one. Everything is decided. I don't care". Almost all electronic votings on the local news agency have shown that the candidate "against all" was in the top three favorites.

Given the lack of access to the Internet among many villagers who are not interested in the election, the chances of the "against all" can grow significantly. Given the total lack of confidence of the Armenians to the election, the candidate "against all" can be a real competitor to the president. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it has long disappeared from the ballot paper.


Arshaluys Mgdesyan


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