January 10 saw another disgraceful elections in Armenia with violations, voter bribing and intimidation on the one side, and very low voter participation on the other. People are increasingly loosing patience and hope with the electoral process in Armenia. Opposition is crying fowl, while a little known man with no political past – Ara Simonian wins a landslide victory, defeating jailed editor Nikol Pashinian – one of the most recognized opposition leaders, a charismatic figure, whose name is synonymous to the unprecedented rise and revitalization of the opposition movement in the wake of 2008 presidential elections in Armenia.Reporters were prevented from entering electoral districts to cover elections, Pashinian proxies were beaten and forced to go to hospital for treatment, voters were bused to elections, one of the districts was temporarily shut down during the election process and opposition proxies, observers kicked out while ballot stuffing or some other mechanism of vote-forging unknown to public went on behind closed doors.
It was, of course, easy to predict, that this is how the election process will flow, and it was easy to see, that the authorities would do everything in their power to prevent Nikol Pashinian walking out of prison and stepping into the National Assembly, where he’d get access to life airtime to public TV, parliamentary immunity, etc. Fact is – Pashinian would be the most unconvenient MP in parliament – so why would they let him there in the first place?
The problem, however, lies in the fact, that people are increasingly disillusioned with the election process, while the forces behind forging election results are becoming more proficient at it. The electoral process has stopped serving its point of changing government by the people for the people. So there were are – with one more pointless election over in Armenia.
PS: Even if I sound so pessimistic, the question asked by a fellow blogger in an earlier post, drills my mind: “But what else do you do? Do you raise the middle finger and go away?” And I’m looking for answers, I’m looking for answers…
I love all these remarks like “stopped” as well as promises by other to “restore” democracy and so on when it neither “started” or “existed” in the first place.
Onnik – that’s possibly a fair point, but I wouldn’t go so far as to state, that electoral process never existed. I have seen the example of Gyumri mayor Vardan Ghukasian, certainly an infamous character, who was elected during his first term despite the fact, that he lacked backing of any political force and in fact – HHSH worked against him to put the acting mayor Mikayel Vardanian on second term. Still, that’s about the only example I got and Vardan Ghukasian is not exactly the type of mayor anyone would want.
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