Most parties not running for Yerevan city council disappointed by April 2 elections - debate

15:31 • 11.04.17



Most of the political parties not running for the Yerevan City Hall may have been disappointed by the irregularities observed during the April 2 parliamentary elections, political analysts claim.


At a debate devoted to the city council elections slated for May 15, the political engineer Armen Badalyan cited the reported cases of vote-buying and other electoral abuses as a major cause disappointing most parties.


The Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D) and the Armenian Renaissance party on Saturday said in separate statements that they are not going to run in the upcoming mayoral elections.


“The April 2 elections came to prove that electoral bribes played a decisive role in not only the regions but also in Yerevan. Some 70%-80% of voters in Yerevan cast ballots for money, so it is absolutely pointless in such circumstances to stand for the city council of Yerevan. Elections are no longer a means for achieving changes,” Badalyan added.   

As for the chances of the opposition political forces which have fielded candidates, the expert said he thinks that the ruling Republican Party will inevitably give room to the other opponents – the political bloc Yelk (Way Out) and Yerkir Tsirani (Country of Apricot) to meet the legislative demand for ensuring at least three political parties’ representation in the council.


Armen Grigoryan, a political analyst also attending the debate, attributed the Republican’s landslide victory in the parliamentary elections to abuse of administrative resources (rather than electoral bribes). In his words, the practice paved the party’s way to parliament also in 2012, with the ARF-D becoming its sole partner in the coalition government.


According to political commentator Hakob Badalyan, the relatively calm post-electoral situation now may be another reason not motivating the above parties to run for city council in May.

 

“The last two mayoral elections in Yerevan – held in 2008 and 2013 – followed presidential elections. What we saw after the elections back then was a tense situation full of [negative] energy. So the mayoral elections had, in a way, a neutralizing effect. With no problem of the kind disturbing us now, those parties do not feel they need to run for elections this time,” he added.

Hakob Aslanyan





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