Armenia election campaign: Day one

The campaign for the June 20 snap elections officially kicked off in Armenia today. Twenty-two parties and four blocs have bid for participation in the election.

Acting Prime Minister, leader of the Civil contract party Nikol Pashinyan is convinced that on June 20 “Armenian citizens will re-establish their power.”

“We will not even say “people, vote for us”, we will say “people, vote for yourself,” Pashinyan said at the start of the campaign.

“On June 20 you will decide again, and we will obey. If you decide that we should continue to lead the country, we will. If you decide we shouldn’t, we will go,” Pashinyan said. .

The Republic Party does not rule out cooperation with other political forces. In the post-war situation the party has only external enemies, no internal ones, leader Aram Sargsyan told reporters today.

He said the formation of coalitions will be mandatory after the elections and will depend on the number of representatives of each party in the parliament.

 “There are situations when there is a war, when your enemy is on the border, and in this case we do not rule out cooperation with any force,” said Sargsyan, adding that in peacetime they will cooperate only with forces whose ideology is close to theirs.

Armenia’s first President, leader of the Armenian National Congress Party Levon Ter-Petrosyan urged his teammates to be calm and cold-hearted during the election campaign.

“Never get into an argument with opponents, let them swear, let them do whatever they want. Your arguments are so powerful that you absolutely do not need to get involved in such arguments. Leave it to them,” Levon Ter-Petrosyan said.

The party aims to restore the semi-presidential system of governance.

“The semi-presidential system is operative, it makes quick decisions, it is very convenient for the countries in transition. We are still among such countries,” Vice-President of the Party Aram Manukyan said during the presentation of the platform.

The Prosperous Armenia Party is running in the snap parliamentary elections under the slogan “Safe Homeland, Powerful State,” Iveta Tonoyan said at the presentation of the party’s pre-election program.

“This slogan was chosen because today the absolute priority of our country and state is security, and then the development of the economy and creation of a strong state,” Tonoyan said.

Among the priorities of the party Tonoyan pointed to balanced development of 10 regions, and affordable social housing for young families.

The Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democrats pledges significant changes in case of success in the upcoming elections.

The alliance started the campaign from Republic Square and headed for Yerablur Military Pantheon.

“This is a very fateful start – a choice between a ‘republic’ and an ’empire’. And it is the duty of all of us, political units, to be able to inspire our society to vote for the republic, for Armenia, for a bright and infallible homeland,” Babajanyan said.

Levon Shirinyan said, in turn that they are announcing a “pan-Armenian mobilization. “We are, in fact, the new political force you are looking for, with a young, uncorrupted, flawless biography,” he said.

The Bright Armenia Party expects to get the ballots of the majority of the 40% undecided voters in order to bring solidarity and rule out clashes in the country, party leader Edmon Marukyan said during the election campaign in Yerevan.

According to Marukan, the main message of their party is to form domestic political reconciliation, peace, solidarity and unity in the country. “We will not stop, will do everything for the national consent and unity to win, because if unity fails to win, the enemy will defeat us,” he said.

Presenting the vision of solving the security issues, Marukyan said. “If we do not unite inside the country, the enemy will occupy territories from our country. Therefore, the first step in restoring that security is to restore internal solidarity.”

In an address to voters, Armenia’s second President, leader of Armenia Alliance Robert Kocharyan urged citizens to focus on the content of their program, which, he said, “has a huge potential for the country’s growth.”

Kocharyan urged to forget the current authorities, saying they are not on their agenda, and called to focus on the future instead.

He assured that the citizen of the Republic of Armenia will definitely have secure borders, will definitely have lasting peace, a dignified attitude in the region, and will definitely have a working and developing state.

Artur Vanetsyan from I have the Honor Alliance described the campaign as that of the “most incomprehensible and bizarre election.”

Arthur Vanetsyan stated that June 20 is a new ordeal for the Armenian nation.

“The homeland will exist forever, Hayk will defeat Bel again, the Armenian will write new epic novels on the way to his eternity. I have the honor,” he said.

Vanetsyan’s Hayrenik (Homeland) party has entered alliance with the Republican Party of Armenia.

Republican Party leader Serzh Sargsyan said the alliance shows “the need to compromise for the sake of national goals, to work together.”

The National Democratic Pole will not enter coalition if elected to the National Assembly. They have their own plans and ideas for the development of Armenia. The party’s candidate for prime minister, Vahe Gasparyan, says the Republic of Armenia should look to the West – the United States, France, etc. At the same time, the party declares that the Third Republic of Armenia must become the legal successor of the First Republic within the borders of 1920.

The Verelk (Rise) Party party started the campaign with a meeting with reservists. The force created a month ago has a military-political orientation. They entered politics first of all to solve the problems of the army and security.

The party’s candidate for Prime Minister Aleksan Minasyan, a colonel in reserve, assures he knows the army very well. Issues of military industry and servicemen’s social security are also high on the agenda.

Zartonk (Awakening) National Christian Party aims to build a strong state based on national Christian values.

“To reach that we need a political lever. As our name suggests, we are going to awaken people,” said Ara Zohrabyan, who leads the party list.

To mark the start of the election campaign, members of the Citizen’s Decision Social Democratic Party marched in the center of Yerevan to give roses and party leaflets to passers-by.

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