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Armenians Show Indifference to 2013 Presidential Elections

The insouciant vibe in Armenia just a week after the official start of the presidential campaign is a stark contrast to the energy surrounding the 2008 election. The excitement displayed then by frequent rallies and gatherings of the Armenian National Congress pushed other parties, both pro-government and oppositional, to compete for the lion’s share of public attention.

Hovhannisian campaigning

Hovhannisian campaigning

None of that exists today. With Levon Ter-Petrossian’s retreat to his den, the Congress is on the verge of disintegrating and the president’s own rallies are staged. Two major parties in opposition have refused to field candidates.  The hype isn’t there.

Several reasons for this exist. Firstly, Armenians do not believe they live in a democracy. They acknowledge the totalitarian tendencies of the ruling regime but do nothing to bring about reform. They accept the new requirement of receiving ID cards from the police department so they can receive salaries. They withstand having their children escorted by their teachers to the president’s campaign events while holding Republican Party flags in the middle of the school day. They comply when their department heads at state agencies demand they submit a list of 50-100 names of people who pledge they will vote for the president, or else be fired. They don’t dare to complain about absurdly low wages for fear of losing their jobs, and the opposition parties have no leverage to have the standards of living increased for most citizens. The ruling regime feels no pressure from within the country and externally, namely from the Armenian Diaspora, to revise its domestic policies. There is no system of checks and balances, nor is there a perceived need for them since it’s not discussed publically. Armenians lament the absence of justice, but they put forth no concrete demands for their government to reform the judicial system and make it resilient to external influence. The president promises the fairest election ever, but no one believes him. Some even think that the outcome has been prearranged in an agreement between Washington and Moscow.

Many citizens, especially those living in rural areas, look forward to election day as a way to make a quick $10 or $20 by selling their vote. They don’t care how the election turns out because they see the repressive system perpetuating. They feel no sense of empowerment, they don’t believe in the strength of their voice. The commonly spoken line keeps repeating:  “What can you do? There it is.”

In the meantime, those who can will continue to leave. Decent-paying work opportunities are hard to come by, and the government does little to create new jobs. As the Weekly previously reported, a 2008 study by the International Labor Organization showed that 70 percent of families with one or more members working abroad received remittances from them, which are then used to pay for food and utilities (both of which have substantially increased since the report was released).  People are struggling more than ever to get by.

Raffi Hovhannisian, one of the most respected Armenian politicians, who ironically is among the least taken seriously, is the president’s main contender. Known for his brutal honesty and strong will, he is perceived by some as the beaming icon of what should personify the ideal president. He is universally viewed among Armenian citizenry as “a nice guy who means well.”

But Hovhannisian is in it alone. None of the other parties have hinted at lending their support to his candidacy, which is unsurprising given his reputation for being unable to cooperate with virtually anyone. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how he would ever form a government. His Heritage Party’s embarrassing divorce from the Free Democrats after Hovhannisian made public his desire for their leader, Khachatur Kokobelian, to yield his parliamentary seat to young blood resulted in the loss of a broader support base.

If by divine providence Hovhannisian were to win, he would still have the omnipotent oligarchic system to contend with, and the “families” would likely be unwilling to serve him (unless he’s been secretly reaching out). He will have to campaign tremendously hard in the next few weeks to prove he is a serious alternative who can actually beat President Serge Sarkisian, something that will take a considerable amount of convincing. But his slogan, “It’s Possible,” is certainly optimistic.

Paruyr Hayrikian, the legendary dissident from the Soviet era, announced his candidacy on Jan. 7. He was quoted by RFE/RL as saying that there “will be no constitutional regime change in Armenia through these elections because unfortunately power…illegally and legally belongs to Serge Sarkisian and his associates subordinate to him.” [Note: Hayrikian was shot on Jan. 31 and is currently recovering]

In his Jan. 19 interview with RFE/RL, in response to whether he believed he had a rival, Sarkisian’s first words were, “I am inclined to believe that it is not the government’s problem to nurture a competitor.” No, only the incumbent’s.

Sarkisian doesn’t seem to understand how election campaigns really work. In the interview with RFE/RL, the president commented, “People become presidents with their teams, due to their track record, and not by criticizing the government.” This baffling statement implies he either simply doesn’t read international political news or he’s mocking anyone bothering to peruse his remarks.  Then a recent video shows the president’s gruff indifference to the plight of struggling citizens at an Army Day commemorative event as a desperate woman approaches him in tears for an answer she can’t find.

The apathy surrounding these elections is shared by citizens and political forces alike. Neither the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun (ARF-D), Prosperous Armenia Party, or Armenian National Congress agreed to field candidates of their own, nor did they consider rallying around a single challenger, as a demonstration of no confidence in the fairness of the elections. The consensus was nothing more than a noble act of defeatism, a blatant affront to the democratic process. Lyudmila Sargsian of the Congress on Jan. 9 said that “Serge Sarkisian’s reelection is already predetermined. I think that it would be unserious of the [Armenian National Congress] to enter the fray.” In turn, head of the ARF-D parliamentary group Armen Rustamyan’s said, “I will definitely not vote for anybody… In all likelihood, I will write ‘against all’ on the ballot.”

Eligible voters can be divided into three categories: those who will vote for the authorities to protect their jobs and way of life; those who succumb to vote buying or are intimidated to vote a certain way; and those who vote of their own free will, ignoring pressure to vote for a particular candidate. Yet, nearly everyone I have ever spoken to has told me that the status quo will remain because nothing can ever be done to change the system of governance (although some tend to be cautiously optimistic).  People live in fear—fear of losing their jobs and capital, and being oppressed.

It is not the Sarkisian Administration, or any other for that matter, that has been manipulating mindsets. Indifference and fatalism control the populace, and thereby obscure their belief in democracy. And they’re apprehensive of change.

As a fruit vendor working out of a small trailer in a courtyard near Sakharov Square told me the other day, “They say we’re living well now, although I don’t think I totally agree… But it could be a lot worse.”

20 Comments on Armenians Show Indifference to 2013 Presidential Elections

  1. How are we doing on a relative basis, when Cyprus with a population of 1.1 Million had a $25.0 Billion GDP in 2011. At the same time, Armenia with 3.0 Million population, had $4.0 Billion GDP.

    Armenia’s $3,270 Per Capita GDP is just over Republic of Congo’s Per Capita GDP of $3,198.

    If Armenia’s Per Capita GDP had reached Turkey’s $10,000 levels, then Armenia’s GDP would be greater today than of Cyprus’s $25.0 Billion GDP. Instead, it would take 25 more years for Armenia to reach Turkey’s current levels of Per Capita GDP, that is, IF Armenia’s GDP grew at 10% for the next 25 years (double the past 20 years). China is the only country that has achieved such high growth rates over the past decade.

    Armenia’s actual GDP growth rate for 2010 was 2.1%, 2011 4.4%, 2012 estimated to be 6.2% and 2013 at 4.3%, most of which is inflation rather than growth in productivity.

    Switzerland’s Per Capita GDP in 2011 was $83,000.

    If Armenia was at Switzerland level of Per Capita GDP today, Armenia would have had an economy as large as Israel of about $250.0 Billion instead of $4.0 Billion.

    Like China, perhaps it is time now for Armenia to put the prosperity of its population & economy, as Priority Number One. Or, like the fruit seller is quoted to say in your article, it could get worse…

  2. Chekijian:

    Your information is either deliberately or sloppily incorrect
    Here are the actual numbers for Armenia from an unbiased source:

    ARMENIA.
    2012 GDP (purchasing power parity): US$ 18.95 billion.
    2012 GDP (official exchange parity): US$ 10.55 billion.
    2012 Per capita GDP (PPP): US$5,600.

    You comparing Armenia with Switzerland, for example, shows how out of touch and biased you are.
    And {“Switzerland’s Per Capita GDP in 2011 was $83,000.”} was not: 2011 PPP $45,200. 2012 PPP $ $45,300.
    The rest of your examples are so riddled with errors, I won’t bother.

    And you want to compare Armenia to Turkey ? OK, how about comparing Turkey to USA: IF Turkey’s Per Capita GDP reached the level of US, its GDP would be US$75 Trillion. (btw: world economy was about $70 Trillion in 2011). I could give more nonsensical, non sequitur comparisons like that, but the illogic of that kind of “if…then” comparison should be obvious.

    You want to compare countries ? Compare equivalents:

    GEORGIA
    2012 GDP (purchasing power parity): US$ 26.40 billion.
    2012 GDP (official exchange parity): US$ 15.80 billion.
    2012 Per capita GDP US$5,900.

    And I do not include Azerbaijan for this reason: they have free money gushing from under their feet.
    Its GDP and PPP are artificially inflated. About 90% of their GDP is tied one way or another to their oil.
    Aside from the Royal Court of Sultan Aliyev, most of ordinary Azerbaijan citizens live in abject poverty.
    An estimated 3 million citizens of Azerbaijan live and work in Russia, selling fruits and vegetables.

    For a landlocked country that experienced a devastating earthquake just before its independence, with an estimated 25,000 dead (some estimate 50,000 dead), complete dismantling of its industrial base due to collapse of USSR, a 4 year massively destructive war of survival, complete blockade by two of its so-called neighbors, and the fact it has no reliable, low cost transportation routes to world markets, Armenia is doing Great.

    And yes, it will become the Switzerland of the Caucasus in the near future.

    • Avery
      It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that corruption plauges current Armenia. Its admirable to survive Genocide, eathquakes, hostile neighbors and border closures in a land locked country and still do well, but another to have a political system thats only interested is basically stealing as much as possiible for self gain and staying in poer at all cost.. That is the current sad state of Armenia..We talk of “Sultan Alyev” but the current Armenian regime is not faultless in this regard..

      I mean 1/3 of Armenia has exited and more would do so in a heart beat.. A part of that is self inflicted..

      Knowing these truths doesn’t make one anti ROA. Contrary, most all here love their country and thier people and want nothing but the best for ROA.. And ignoring it or saying other country’s are equally corrupt doesn’t excuse any of it..

  3. Checkijian: I thought nothing could make me weep more than reading Christian’s article stating;
    “They withstand having their children escorted by their teachers to the president’s campaign events while holding Republican Party flags in the middle of the school day. They comply when their department heads at state agencies demand they submit a list of 50-100 names of people who pledge they will vote for the president, or else be fired. Many citizens, especially those living in rural areas, look forward to election day as a way to make a quick $10 or $20 by selling their vote. ”
    And then, I read your sad comment with GDP numbers. Please pass another box of tissues.

  4. My source of the nominal GDP numbers for 2009, 2010 and 2011 is Wikipidia. Not sure why Estimated Parity numbers for 2012. In any case, the point is the relativity compared to other more productive countries and the numbers on relative basis are consistent.

    I have spared any comment on the political tragedy that has caused such poor economic impact to the population at large in Armenia.

  5. My source is the CIA World Factbook.

    And you have no point: most of the supposed facts you build your case on are incorrect. You have an Anti RoA political agenda, so are making things up, because you cannot prove your point by actual numbers.
    Like I said, comparing Armenia to Switzerland shows how desperate you are to show RoA in a bad light, no matter how illogical the premise.

    And here is Wiki, if you want to double check your fake numbers (including Switzerland’s $83,000):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita

    World Bank.
    Armenia $5,789 (2011)
    Georgia $5,465 (2011)

    International Monetary Fund
    Georgia $5,491 (2011)
    Armenia $5,392 (2011)

    Central Intelligence Agency
    Georgia $5,500 (2011)
    Armenia $5,400 (2011)

    University of Pennsylvania (2010)
    Armenia $6,345
    Georgia $5,947

    The relatively poor economic conditions of the former Soviet Union republics is a legacy of 70 years of Communist misrule.
    To compare one of those former republics, Armenia, to the economies of the West again shows political bias and a political agenda.
    Blaming economic conditions in RoA on politics, without mentioning its geopolitical situation clearly demonstrates that all your arguments are colored by your dislike of the political parties that have successfully brought RoA from its Independence and chopping down municipal street trees for firewood to today.

    As I demonstrated with the nearby example of Georgia, not only Armenia is doing outstanding given the circumstances, but it is a miracle how well it is doing given where it was and the road it had to travel to get here.

    PS: research how many US$ Billions has West’s darling Georgia been receiving from the West since West’s golden boy Saakashvili was installed.
    Georgia has wide open access to the Black Sea, has a climate where everything grows without even trying, gets massive financial support from the wealthy West, and is still doing not much better than Armenia: explain that by your imagined ‘political tragedy’.

  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fadp6iwWeLM

    Garbis it would be only fair if you could cover why people are being sold for 5000-10000 drams? Why are they taking bribes? I do not think that the reason is only economic. How is that in the same family wife sells her vote and husband does not or vice verse? 70 tarva Sovetakan kargere mardkanc darzrec strkamit u sovorecrec vor petutyunic goghanale vat ban chi. This the root of our problem. I have seen this in families that are very close to me.They do not need that money, but they still do it. Of course there are people who are extremely poor and do it out of desperation, but I am not talking about them. However, I yet to see someone with dignity, poor or rich, to sell his vote.

  7. Sella: You ask why people are taking bribes. I think you are asking the wrong question. The question should be – Why are bribes being offered?

    • Perouz,

      “The question should be – Why are bribes being offered?”

      I am not asking the obvious. Bribes are being offered because the government is corrupt and wanted to get the majority of votes so that in the future they can pass whatever law they want. The question is why are these people being sold for 5000-10000 drams and turn around and neg about corruption for the next five years? Those people are majority in Armenia. That is why I think that there should be a special class in Armenian schools to teach children how to become a civilized citizen. There is no other way to get rid of this Soviet mentality that is the root of all problems. And, I have seen how those people (not necessarily Armenian, but former Soviet citizens) mess up laws and rules in orderly countries such as Switzerland, Germany or Austria.

  8. Sella: I think we need to start with the government, not the Armenian school children. It is the government that sets the school cirriculum. You cannot eliminate a Soviet mentality if you have the kind of elections described by Garbis. If former Soviet citizens “mess up laws and rules in orderly countries,” as you claim, they will be held accountable to the “laws and rules” in those countries. Our greater concern is our own country. Democracy starts with democratic elections.

    • Perouz,

      “If former Soviet citizens “mess up laws and rules in orderly countries,” as you claim, they will be held accountable to the “laws and rules” in those countries.”

      Not really. It is too expansive for the host country to imprison those people. If what they have done was not a serious violation or crime they simply get deported to their home country. Then, they acquire new passports or change their names and try their luck again in different countries.

      Unless you educate and train your society you can never clean up the government. The government consist of many of those former vote-selling people.

      Do not forget the geopolitical location of Armenia. Any government that will genuinely pursue Armenia’s interests will be removed either by Russia or by West or will be forced to make decisions that will not be of Armenia’s best interests. What is good for Armenia is not always good for Russia or for West. South Caucasus countries can not stand for themselves in that hostile environment. They sit at the crossroads and powers will always fight to influence them. Look what is happening to Georgia. Protocols imposed on Armenian government was an example of this. Assassination of Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchian was another example. Powers behind those tragic events are not the same, but it shows how they can influence Armenia. People who never lived in Armenia do not have a good understanding of Armenia’s society and government.

    • {“Do not forget….People who never lived in Armenia do not have a good understanding of Armenia’s society and government.”}

      well said Sella.
      That entire paragraph.

      One note: pretty much all counties in the world, with few exceptions, are influenced, controlled, manipulated by the handful of Big Ones: US, Russia, Germany, England, France, China, etc. For example, the foreign policy of Japan, South Korea, Pakistan is under the full control of USA. US also routinely interferes in their internal politics, if it sees signs of ‘rebellion’. Russia with all its military power and natural wealth had to wisely limit itself how far it went into Georgia in 2008 (militarily it could have cut Georgia in half with not trouble). Even US itself is not immune: because China buys a lot of US debt, US has to be very careful messing with China.

      So, a little country like Armenia has no choice but to be a junior partner to a big power like Russia.
      And there is no question that Armenia’s leaders have made intelligent choices and done an excellent job navigating the treacherous waters of South Caucasus geopolitics: tight with Russia (and Iran) where it counts, and friendly with both US and Europe. Georgia was a little frosty, but not because RoA did anything wrong. With Turcophile Neocon agent Saakashvili on his way out, things should improve somewhat with Georgia also.

    • Avery,
      I wish they would just stop stealing from their own people. Leading a country in a delicate geo-political balance does have huge responsibilities but doesn’t make that country your personal bank account for massive wealth gain. Its wrong on all levels. Sorry can’t justify it..

    • John:

      I am well aware of all that goes on in RoA, including theft, graft, lack of law, etc.
      Just because I don’t dwell on it does not mean I do not know.
      I have childhood friends and blood relatives who live in Armenia.
      Members of my extended clan also travel regularly to Armenia and/or live there part time.

      I view what you are concerned about as of tertiary importance, if that.
      If NKR were to be lost, even a perfectly democratic, pure, angelic Armenia would not survive for long. Theft, graft, lack of law and all that will be corrected in time.

      A stable state with a powerful military is more important in my worldview for Armenia and NKR today. I don’t see theft and such as vital. Annoyance, yes: but not vital. Conversely, a weak State and military will be catastrophic.

      I understand your concerns. And they are valid. But, I just don’t see them at the level of importance for the survival of RoA and NKR that you do.

      We just prioritize things differently.

    • “Unless you educate and train your society you can never clean up the government. The government consists of many of those former vote-selling people.”

      Dear Sella,

      Educating and training a society is a governmental prerogative. Punishing both the bribe-givers and the bribe-takers is a governmental prerogative. Maintaining law and order is a governmental prerogative. Cleaning up the government is the prerogative of the government itself. Social groups can only contribute to this, but they cannot do the work for the government. It was not the Soviet people who “cleaned up” their government during the Stalin times, for instance. It was the government that did it. The laws are imposed and carried out by the government, not the society. The various crimes are being punished by the government, not the society. If a couple of most notorious oligarchs are thrown in jail, see what immediate positive impact this will have on the society on the whole. Has it ever occurred to you that something must be fundamentally wrong with how Armenia is governed, a country occupying a miniscule territory and populated by a population which a size of a New York borough? Isn’t it a shame not to be able to feed 3 million people in the 21st century?

      When the first and all consecutive governments of independent Armenia came to power, most of them were part and parcel of a Soviet society where there was no such thing as vote-selling. Then where did vote-selling come from? Yes, from vote-buying, vote-faking, etc. And this is what the government—former or present—has done. You must say “A” before saying “B”. It is very easy to put all blame on the society, but I refuse to believe that most of the Armenian society are former vote-sellers or semi-literate thugs currently represented in the government.

      Please stop blaming the people for inability of the government to rule effectively and in a public-spirited manner. Besides, are you sure this or the previous governments were actually elected by the people? If they were not, and everyone knows they weren’t, then how can they represent your society? If they were elected, then where are the societal layers other than the thugs? Where is the remaining intelligentsia? Where are the doctors, lawyers, academicians, artists, intellectuals? In what elected governmental body do you see such people? And since they don’t exist in the government, do you mean to say they don’t exist in the society?

  9. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm // Reply

    To whom this may interest,
    I have written at length to our press in Eastern armenian,this time over, as main objective of my writ concerns the elections in RA and its outcome.Also cc ing to our Armenian language press in Diaspora.Will they publish it?? questionalbe.
    it delvs into the present mode of conducting the campaigning(pretty much copied from Western countries..).,which is not surpriszing at all……all ex soviet ,or near all of them are now copyists at work (after Western examples indeed).Thence, I have come to accept that this mode of Electoral system (not even that) rather methods can ONLY be transformed into a more acceptable system BY AND BY…not with a stroke of the pen..(meaning none of the contenders will garner enough votes to be elected.
    Whereas Serge Sargsyan´s comes form many years of developing the style that is used in the West and indeed he does have more followers …
    So what have i ¨suggeswtted¨yes in that mode,´cause I know the Armenian character of so many yrs both in Homeland and overseas….
    My suggestion is that to begin with:- mr. Sargsyan having won the campaign and imn extension nomination to 2nd term presidenty, kindly consider appointing (for the first time in RA history of mode of Gov.t) Mr. Paruyr Hairikina as his Vice president, mr. Raffi hohannessian as FM8has after 20 yrs accumulated plenty of experience etc.,9 then Hrant Bagratian( used to be Ministre of Economy) as to occupy similar position as Ministre, then all the pro and con ,i.e., opposition chieftains , and those such as not there omn the scene like the marxist David hakobian , Communist Ashot Manucharian and a host of all those who are indeed INTELLECTUALS and Patriots(never mind their ideology,LEARN IN THIS ASPECT NOT FROM THE Anglo saxon Two party rule, BUT FROM Euro country systems,mainly FRANCE of course.
    That is real Democracy IN PRACTICE.I never believed in the British Tory(conservative9 party Vx., the Labour party rule and do not doubt that the U.s. one is a copy of latter, ,viz.Democrats vs the Republicans:There was a try to have a liberal party added to it or comes to mind the Tea party???
    Armenia is whether we wish it or not in the Ejuropean sphere now,more than the previous Russian soviet one.latter is also undergoiung some such changes. Hopefully they will and in that case we shall have an armenia based on Euro Principles rather than oceasn apart N.American or far away British .One more issue that I have tackled there in my so called ¨paper¨ is that of :-Trying hard to stop immigration from Armenia and reverse it by a well organized REPATRIATION.Which I explain IS A Diaspora responsibility(like in the past).In thios respect Armenia /RA can indeed also collaborate by extending LAND SPACE…don´t be surprise.Mr. hamazaspian of the soviet era pres. of the Spyuriki Gabi Committee, 8contaafct or conmnection with Diaspora, stated to me and friends in person Armenia is capable (sapcewise to admit up to 6 million inhabitanats.Add to that now the Artsakh´s wide open spaces….and the Karvajar section…
    Armenia has to let all Armenian Young in Diaspora ostentate and use R.of armenia passports.These will incite and eencoursge them to travel to RA/Artsak and also receive besides cultural, some military cadet training at least a month or two witht the recruits…
    Also presence of our Deñlegatges(permanent9 in Diaspora ministry from 5 main continents:N.& S.America, EU.RF. and the Midd EAst.
    I can elaborate further on this if any wishes to learn more.Otherwise in USArmenia magazoine (Special issue 2012) my article ´PROJECTIONS ON A NEW STATUTE FOR THE ARMENIAN DIASPORA is there to read…
    Thanks for bearing w/me

  10. Sella
    Thank you for taking the time to again write your concerns. However, we are not going to agree on this. You feel that “Unless you educate and train your society, you can never clean up the government.” You feel that change starts from the bottom up, whereas I feel that it starts at the top down.

    When governments buy votes, they are saying that it is legal to buy them. People who sell votes are therefore acting within the laws of their country.
    I appreciate your desire for a stronger Armenia.

    • Perouz,

      You are not the first person who disagrees with me. I am someone who believes in strong, mature and civilized societies. The rule of law begins in our families first, and then in our government. Many people complain about giving and taking bribes in Armenia. In my world half of the blame is on the givers and half is on the takers. I worked in Armenia and when I was told that I have to take money from patients I simply refused to do it. They told me that that was the way they have been working for years, but I still refused. They were surprised, but they never asked me to do it again. That’s how it works. I lived 23 years in Armenia and never took or gave any bribe to anyone. If I could do it everybody can do it. There are many corrupt people in Armenian government, but there are many that are not. Չի կարելի թացը չորի հետ այրել:

      “When governments buy votes, they are saying that it is legal to buy them. People who sell votes are therefore acting within the laws of their country.”

      An informed and responsible citizen should know what is legal in his country and what is not. If tomorrow government officials start selling their mothers are our citizens going to think that it is legal and start doing the same? Of course not. They know that giving and taking bribes is illegal, but they still do it. And, the saddest part is that 5000-10000 drams are not going to improve their lives in anyway. What can 160 drams per month do for them in the next five years? Nothing.

  11. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm // Reply

    Addendum
    Title of my above ¨paper¨ addressed to many was¨¨CONCILLIATORY GOVERNMENT¨. IT IS IN ITS FORMAT TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE SUCH AS a Coalition gov.t or one that is essentially based on striclty a Parliamentary /Congress system. This I sort of present introduce as especially for our stance,where many are discontent and cannot really raise their voice and opine as to their well wishings..
    for the armenian people has all the right to desire to say something -However, the MPs in the RA do not represent the VOICE OF THE THICK MAJORITY..
    That is EXACTLY why I have for years nay decades thought of introducing ¨A New Concept of Electoral System & Governance¨¨-registered at the intellectual property at D.C. and Yerevan similar office.
    A quite tangible-to be counted with-majority of the Armenian(and the world over population) has now progresssed in many fields of professions.
    Yessteryear´s telgraphist is today a very expert IT specialsit and in all fields of professions likewise. First we classify in these, then from within these ELECT OUR rep-.s to the National Assembly in RA and to our Central Council of each Armenian community country our Central Council—so on so forth.Otherwsie to seek another way of dealing with thosse who are on the scene very tough.We must creep up añongside them first in ssaid manner and then by and by show o to the people that we are the ELITE ,the eñlected that should be there not those self elected or by MONY SPENIDN ELECTED.I said enough hope AW will publiosh this aned the one above.

  12. A word to the author of this article and to the apologists of the current regime in Armenia.

    How cynical is it to write and comment on indifference to presidential elections amongst the population knowing that in the cases when the Armenian people did express concern and political activism and stood up for their electoral and civil rights—as in 1996, throughout the Kocharian presidency, and lately in March of 2008—none of the Diasporan Armenian organizations supported the people’s quest for regime change and betterment of their lives?

    Then why are you complaining about indifference?! How many times people can stand up and be ruthlessly silenced? Armenians learnt to vote with their feet. This is unfortunate for the country, but is the most efficient method of showing disgust for the authorities.

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