Sksel e — Flash Mob

Sksel e Flash Mob, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia © Onnik Krikorian, CRD / TI Armenia 2007
CRD / TI Armenia Election Monitor 2007 reports about the Flash Mob event organized by the group of young civil activists as announced earlier here.

[…]Standing at the corner of each intersection leading into the roundabout opposite Yerevan’s Opera House, as well as circling the grassy area in its center, each participant stood with a newspaper reading separate articles of their choice out aloud. Also wearing hats made out of newspapers, the sight and sound of that alone was surreal and unexpected enough for Armenia even in this day and age.
As were leaflets handed out asking “are you satisfied with yourself, or with the person next to you?,” “are you guilty?,” and “are you afraid, or don’t you care?”[…]

Aylyntranq rally on March 16th

CRD / TI Armenian Election Monitor 2007 has an account of Aylyntranq rally held on March 16th, 2007 on Matenadaran square:

Today saw another rally held by the Aylentrank (Alternative) movement outside the Matenadaran in Yerevan. The meeting attracted only a few hundred people and was much less than the already small gathering attracted for its first open air meeting held in Liberty Square on 20 February. A1 Plus was one of only a few media outlets reporting on the meeting.

The blog has also speaks about conflict of interest for young political activists, working in international organizations like UN and trying to get active in the political life of the country. Incidentally one of such people, Aramazd Ghalamkaryan (also a blogger) has been effectively fired from UNDP, and two other young political activists have decided to leave MIAK to comply with the UN regulations.

What was most interesting about today’s event, however, was for CRD-TI Armenia to have the opportunity to talk to local blogger and Aylentrank activist, Aramazd Ghalamkaryan. Until recently, Ghalamkaryan was an Information Associate at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia until his political activities resulted in his suspension. Unreported by the local media, rumor and speculation about his dismissal has been spreading in Yerevan in recent days.

Exhausted Politics and Politicians of Armenia

There is still two months to go before the parliamentary elections, but it is already clear, that the political landscape of Armenia is already exhausted. Although there were public unrests as a result of past elections, still the political landscape didn’t register any qualitative growth. On the contrary, the processes underway in 2003-2004 led to a decomposition of the opposition and exclusion of the society from public life, which could be clearly seen in the developments around the constitutional referendum.” (Kornelij Glas)Following an earlier analysis of the Armenian political landscape two weeks ago, Kornelij Glas has another in-depth analysis of the political situation in the country – and it doesn’t seem that things are improving. Two important conclusions are made by Kornelij Glas, which should be mentioned here:

Hence we can conclude, that under the current situation, whereby there is an ideological vacuum among the political elite, any changes for Armenia as a result of the elections cannot be expected.

On the other hand the overall indifference in the society does not encourage real political activity, and the elections are turning into a simple futility. The most likely result of the current elections will lead to further erosion of political ideology and public disappointment. There is also a possibility, that because of the created political vacuum, the society will be stimulated, and new political forces with fresh ideology will come round. All in all the current political landscape does not correspond to the society – they are moving in different directions. The political forces have led themselves into a vicious circle, where there is no room for the majority of the population.

While Kornelij is predicting the possibility of a fresh political force to develop, Bekaisa is analyzing one of such newly engineered forces – MIAK (United Libratory National Party). Bekaisa starts up by providing an interesting background: looking into how widespread political experiments are held throughout the territory of the former USSR, where an experiment tried out in Belarus is then implemented in Russia, to be further recommended for action in the other CIS satellites (Armenia among them). Bekaisa compares the Russian pro-government parties – “Yedinaya Rossia” and “Spravedlivaya Rossia” with the two Armenian parties of power: “Bargavach Hayastan” and “Republican Party”, and states, that our democracy is becoming strikingly similar to the Russian model of sovereign democracy. Looking into the political vacuum created as a result of final devaluation of the traditional opposition parties, as well as the fact that other government-engineered initiatives to create a youth party have failed so far and given the need to fill in the vacuum created (which was also discussed by Kornelij earlier), Bekaisa looks at MIAK as a party created to solve the following main tasks:

  1. to fill in the niche occupied by our energetic arturik [Artur Baghdasaryan, “Orinats Yerkir”], who is so much in favor in the west
  2. to fill the liberal niche to a certain degree
  3. to fully block the youth niche, as other projects like urikhanyan, kayunutyun and others were too awkward and didn’t justify themselves
  4. to present all the other young and liberal forces as “marginals”(c) and city fools
  5. to have a “constructive” and young opposition, which knows a lot of useful words like “structures”, “systems” and “mechanisms”.

Full posts by Kornelij Glas and Bekaisa are here and here.

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