Artur Baghdasaryan Speaks on Public TV

On a rare occasion Artur Baghdasaryan, leader of “Rule of Law” (Orinats Yerkir) opposition party spoke on Public TV “Europolis” Program yesterday evening. The content of the program is really irrelevant – although Artur Baghdasaryan was discussing presidential candidates, speaking of the level of freedom in Armenia vs. Georgia, developments around Gala TV, etc. The fact is – I hadn’t seen Artur Baghdasaryan on Public TV since the closure of the 2007 Parliamentary election campaign, when the broadcast sphere is regulated by law and enforces the right of all political figures to appear on Public TV on a more or less balanced manner. In fact, I hadn’t seen Artur Baghdasaryan on any TV program, except a rare program on Yerkir-Media TV (broadcast on October 31).
This is how Television works in Armenia – you sing praises to top executives (President, Prime-Minister), criticize the middle-low class beurocracy, and ignore ‘dangerous’ opposition (i.e. opposition which poses political threats to the incumbent authorities).
The moment an opposition figure speaks on TV, especially on the Public TV (which is by far the most popular and powerful TV company in Armenia), you can conclude that:
1) either the opposition figure in question has tied a deal with the authorities and will be working with them to a certain degree to split the power of opposition (Artashes Geghamyan, Stepan Demirchyan are all examples of such figures).
2) the opposition candidate does not pose any threat to the authorities anymore.
Following from all of the above, and taking into consideration the fact, that Artur Baghdasaryan has once already deceived the authorities, I find it unlikely that he would be invited for a new deal. Hence I can conclude, that from the point of view of the authorities Artur Baghdasaryan and “Rule of Law” party pose no more threat. Hence his marvelous appearances on TV. Go figure…

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Of course, another theory would be — and is — that the authorities want as many potential credible opposition candidates as possible to run in the election because (drum roll, please)…
    They divide not only the opposition but also the opposition vote. Divide and conquer, basically. That’s what I think it’s more all about. A united or common opposition candidate is not what the authorities want.
    Of course, this does not mean that the candidates are working with the authorities. Let us remember first of all that some even suggested Levon Ter Petrosian’s nomination was put forward to work for the government and against the opposition.
    Too much paranoia here, but the idea that by allowing a broad spectrum of opposition candidates to run will of course work in Sarkisian’s favour. This was the same tactic used by Kocharian in the 2003 election.

  2. BTW: Assuming that there are around three main opposition candidates running (forget the minor ones who don’t stand a chance and will poll an insignificant number of voters) the main objective of the opposition will be to force a second round where only one will run against Sarkisian.
    This has been the situation in the past, and I assume it will be the same next year too unless the OSCE’s hands are really tied i.e. they will be prevented from issuing a statement before the official CEC results are declared. Anyway, with or without Geghamian’s boycott, Demirchian and co took a LOT of people out onto the streets — perhaps 40-45,000 (massive in Armenian terms).
    This will be the objective of the opposition this time round as well, so in a sense, what matters more will be which ONE candidate all the others rally around in a second round. I’m sure that the authorities do want to split the opposition vote, but the main challenge facing Ter Petrosian, Baghdasarian and anyone else who runs against Sarkisian is not getting so embroiled in fighting among themselves that they allow a first round victory by Sarkisian.
    I mean, of course, if that first round victory is attained by falsification and vote buying. If it’s a relatively clean vote by Armenian standards, that’s another matter entirely.

  3. Armen Badalya, an expert in political technologies. think, that Artur Baghadasryan could be sort of candidate playing for serzh and Kocharyan, who van enter second round.
    The interview with Badalyan is here

  4. You know, I have to be honest and say I’m tired of people accusing others of such things. It happens all the time. Until recently, many people on this blog were accusing Levon Ter Petrosian of being the same.
    To be honest, who cares? Simply put, let people get their names on the ballot and let the voters choose. Meanwhile, perhaps someone will know accuse Armen Badalyan of being in the pay of someone who doesn’t want Baghdasarian to run. Anyone can say pretty much anything they want, and they generally do.
    There’s no evidence provided, but people spread it because they want to destroy a possible candidate even if he or she is guilty or not of what they’re accused of.
    Tired of this shit. Is it any wonder that there’s no democracy in Armenia and the authorities manage to reproduce themselves constantly. Someone said that Armenia will get the president and government the people deserve. Perhaps I’d add the same is true for civil society and the opposition.
    Let’s try and make this election different, guys. Forget rumors, gossip, personalities and everything else. For once can’t we just have a mature discussion about issues and problems facing Armenia and their possible solution? Until then, plain and simple, the way this is going, Serzh will be president if only because the alternatives and their supporters are too busy slinging mud at each other.
    And in such a situation, perhaps that’s what would be best for this country until a mature political discussion emerges. In the meantime, perhaps someone will post some information on Badalyan’s credentials, what he’s said in the past, and more importantly, whether he’s aligned to one political grouping or not and whether anything he’s ever said in the past about a candidate has actually been true.
    Meanwhile, the situation is thus from reading some blogs.
    Levon Ter Petrosian is the agent of the oligarchs
    Levon Ter Petrosian is the agent of Kocharian and Serzh
    Artur Baghdasarian is the agent of Kocharian and Serzh
    Raffi Hovannisian and Artur Baghdasarian are working for the government
    Aram Karapetyan is working for the Russians and the government
    Geghamian is working for Serzh
    Jesus, man, it’s simple. On the basis of such immature speculation spread without evidence and instead of talking about issues, there is only one choice for president. Serzh Sarkisian, and if he wins I don’t want to hear those opposed to him whine and moan. Simply put, they’ll be as responsible as any falsification on election day.

  5. And looking at this opinion poll, you can see why in-fighting between opposition candidates is so dangerous. United they can poll more votes than Sarkisian. Divided and accusing each other of everything under the sun they all lose, although perhaps they deserve to?

    If the poll was conducted this Sunday, 55% of the enfranchised would participate in it. 38% of the voters would cast their ballot in favor of Serge Sargsyan, 13% – for Raffi Hovhannisyan, 12%- for Arthur Baghdasaryan, 8% – Artashes Geghamyan, 6% – Levon Ter-Petrosyan, 5% – Vazgen Manukyan, 4% – Gagik Tsarukyan and 4% – Vahan Hovhannisyan. Aram Karapetyan would receive 1%.
    According to the survey results, Serge Sargsyan is the best presidential candidate to deal with the problems Armenia faces. 28% consider he can best solve the issue of unemployment. 20% think Arthur Baghdasaryan can solve it. 19% trust Raffi Hovhannisyan, 6% – Levon Ter-Petrosyan and 3% – Armen Rustamyan.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter who wins. If Serzh wins fair and square that’s how it is. Same with any other candidate. Just please, let people decide and determine their choice on where the candidates stand on certain issues and not based on partisan media outlets and analysts who spread unsubstantiated rumors as to who is in who’s pocket and so on.
    Often, such gossip is spread by those against specific candidates rather than represent any real analysis. I’ve already heard it about Orinats Yerkir and Heritage now they’re in parliament and I saw some of civil society actively work against them in order to push the radical opposition forwards in the hope of some kind of revolution during the parliamentary election.
    If you want democracy in this country it’s simple. Let people make their choice and let them make an informed decision. That advice is directed a the government, opposition and “political analysts” who materialize in their dozens at such times — and all with different things to say because there is no such thing as independent and objective analysis here.
    For once, everybody please, let’s just try to have a normal election where political maturity is raised to a far higher level than it’s currently at. Let’s talk about Baghdasarian’s platform, along with all the other candidates, and what they’ve said in the past and whether they followed through. Let them be democratically elections and accountable, but dividing the opposition is NOT going to achieve that.

  6. […] Hovhannisyan, Artur Baghdasaryan Leading in Public Opinion Polls Thanks to a comment left by Onnik Krikoryan on this blog I found out about this public opinion poll published on Armenian Public Radio website. […]

  7. Sergik Sargsyan looooooooooooool he is killer proof March 1st
    he is not president of Armenia people didn’t vote for him

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