Interview with Kayts Minasyan, analyst at the Center of Strategic Studies of France.
Mr. Minasyan results of parliamentary elections are known. How expected were those results? How do you explain success of three—RPA, Tsarukyan bloc, ARF—powers in elections, which basically doesn’t suppose any change from previous parliament and entry of opposition Yelk bloc to the NA?
I’ll do some accentuations. Firstly, I want to reflect to participation of the society in elections. 60% isn’t high participation, which means there is despair among the society, it isn’t indifference, but this edifies that people are bored of the situation in the country. There is lack of trust between the political powers and the society.
Secondly, these results were expected, as prior to elections all polls showed that these four main powers are sympathized by the society. We knew there was rather serious competition between the Republican Party and Tsarukyan bloc. The issue is that we didn’t anticipate that RPA would gain a majority in the parliament alone and it’s new. We should observe whether RPA will develop coalition or not. I consider it’ll form with ARF. Yelk bloc is new among the four powers, which gives hope as new people are involved in the list. Entry of ARF to NA was important, as it’s an all-Armenian party, which established connection between the Diaspora an Armenia, including Artsakh.
The third point is that these elections were a big defeat for First President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, which means, as a political figure, he is ended, his posture on Karabakh and peace doesn’t represent any value in Armenia.
The next defeated power was ORO, it would be rather bothering for them, as Oskanian and Ohanyan had rather big authority until now. This defeat was surprising also for Raffi Hovhannisyan, as four years ago, as a candidate for the president, he gained 35% pf votes, and gains almost nothing this time. This means this generation is somewhat tired, it should be anticipated that new people may come, however it isn’t clear with or without them.
If RPA wins in the elections, it was mostly linked to the authority of Karen Karapetyan he has among the society, he is a new generation representative, I consider, people had hopes with him that a situation may change.
Karen Karapetyan speaks openly, he is frank, and people have hopes with him. Votes cast for RPA also mean that the society wants that NK conflict peaceful negotiations continued without concessions, said “no” to Ter-Petrosyan’s posture, as they want peace without concessions, they want Karabakh remain under Armenia’s control, but with a tougher and radical posture. It’s important here that FM should more be accountable both to the parliament and the society pursuant new Constitution.
The last point is that elections were better held, as they were more open and transparent, we saw more violation, although they were corrigible. It was important that these elections were more pure than the previous ones, at least regarding organization. We may say in the future parliament the field of majority and minority will be clear, i.e. majority is linked to RPA and ARF, and opposition—Tsarukyan bloc and Yelk, in this case it isn’t clear whether they’ll form a united opposition or not, whether they’ll be constructive opposition or not.
We don’t know how powers left out from NA will act. Lesson of these elections was as follows: when 100% national elections with one round are held, if you are an influential power, you have to make coalitions, and unfortunately, several powers failed to cooperate and appear with one list.
Tsarukyan bloc basically was created on name of Tsarukyan, ARF has history, RPA is a party of status, it’s a leading party, Yelk is interesting, a new party with new faces, succeeded to enter the parliament, however others, if consolidated, would pass 5% or 7% threshold. This should be taken into account in the next elections.
Usually sociological polls show that 25-30% of the society is western electorate. In these elections clear Western orientation had Free Democrats and partially—Yelk bloc. In your opinion, how votes of this electorate were distributed? Even there are comments that votes were lost.
I think for the citizens of Armenia the priority were not Western, pro-Russian, pro-European positions, the primary requirement was developing political, economic, social issues. If there is intention to improve the situation in this field, it isn’t obligatory that the political power was Western or pro-Russian. People study programs, proposals, citizens don’t consider about those issues four political parties or blocs, which have won and should be present in the parliament, are both pro-Russian, pro-European, as well as pro-American, however, they more touch upon issues in Armenia.
I consider this thesis didn’t exist at all, people have more serious, important issues, than those of orientation. Armenia succeeded to initial an agreement with the EU around the new document, to show that we comprise a part of European culture, civilization. Armenia’s citizens are smart, wise, for them priority is improvement of economic and political situation.
On account if entry of these powers to the parliament, what kind of a National Assembly are we going to have? Three out of four powers will again have representation in NA, can they provide new quality?
Changes in working mode will be observed. If the new PM will again be Karen Karapetyan, bigger authority and power will be recorded, supposedly, he’ll attempt to develop the working manner. I can’t say whether it’ll happen or not, we have to wait. Secondly, the parliament was more stressed around the new parliament and opposition powers can show activeness, the parliament will have to take into consideration the opposition in both internal and external powers, which will suppose minor changes. I don’t anticipate big changes, as it’s linked to the culture of the ruling elite.
It’s also a question whether the staff of the new parliament, the list of new MPs will be comprised of old generation or new. If they belong to the new generation both in opposition and the authorities, ordinary working mode will be recorded. Much will depend on persons and generations.
By Araks Martirosyan