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Predictable Politics – Not Much Happening in Armenian Parliament Pre-Election Campaign

“Less then a week to go” for the elections, says Onnik Krikoryan finding himself sitting in a restaurant with other foreign journalists, “Nobody is expecting post-election street protests to achieve anything if only because the opposition is divided”, and also because the people attending the impressive rally in Liberty Square last week” are middle aged people and pensioners – you just don’t do revolutions with those people.

ICHD blog (am) is literally disgusted by how predictable these elections are going laying out the scenario of just how everything will look in Armenia on May 13, 2007 – the day after elections:

Rulling elite: a couple of cosmetic changes []

TV: soap opera; soap opera; news: a couple of reports on official meetings and news from abroad; some scare movie

Public life: troubled faces thinking of making a living[] …and slumber: steady and absorbing.

“Not much happening” says Notes from Hairenik, “political climate is pretty boring” – and gives an account of what the biggest Pro-Government parties are up to:

The Republican Party of Armenia is being very arrogant in its confidence that it will by far win the majority of seats. Prosperous Armenia also feels it will win a sizable share, but seems to be more humble in its claims as its leader, Gagik Tsarukian, who is arguably the richest man in Armenia, is a fairly down-to-earth guy. []The ARF-Dashnaktsutiun had another rally yesterday in front of Moscow Cinema claiming that it promises to raise the minimum wage and the average monthly pension…

Oneworld Multimedia is of course much more eloquent on reporting the elections, covering all sides of the political spectrum with stunning photos and commentary, although I don’t think all these boring talking heads of different parties are worth any of Onnik’s efforts. Some of the recent campaign trails covered by the blogger are On The Campaign Trail — Heritage [party] – about which Onnik says “Given the small number of people in attendance it’s hard to believe that Raffi Hovannisian or Heritage could become the controlling party in the National Assembly after 12 May”; On The Campaign Trail — Republican Party – where the blogger notes, that “as the 12 May poll draws ever closer, we’re still not sure as to the real level of support for the ruling party in Armenia with some polls indicating it might be as high as 34 percent, while others say 13 percent”; Radical Opposition Rally Attracts Thousands – remarking about this joint rally of Impeachment block, Republic and New Times parties: “RFE/RL says that the event, held to prepare opponents of the government for post-election street protests, was the largest held by any party to date”. This last rally surely did attract a lot more attention also from other bloggers, some sounding exalted like Aramazd(am), some unimpressed like the freedomfight777(am) and E-channel(am).

impeachment 004

Joint Opposition Campaign Rally, Liberty Square, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia for EurasiaNet 2007

So, here’s the last, but not least from Oneworld Multimedia campaign trails: Thousands Attend Another Opposition Rally – about the “Orinats Yerkir” party, which calls itself opposition, and about which Onnik Krikoryan has a lot of kind words:

Although many opposition and civil society activists dislike him, the party led by former National Assembly Speaker Artur Baghdasarian managed to attract thousands.

More significantly and unlike those opposition parties calling for revolution instead of trying to campaign, most of those attending were young.

Probably it is the only genuine pro-Western political party in Armenia.

Well, looks like even the recent spy scandal didn’t hurt Orinats Yerkir. The last word belongs to the voters: May 12, 2007 – is the deadline and let the best win.

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