DAY 2, March 6
On March 6, different pre-election campaigns have started in Yerevan, Armenia.
“We are going to win anyway. We have won in the past years,” says Artur Baghdasaryan, the leader of Armenian Renaissance. “Today we don’t have the problem of getting into the parliament, today we put a benchmark for the projects and ideas we have in mind. Therefore, we must believe and fight.”
Mr. Bagdasaryan presents an electoral program to change Armenia in 30 steps. According to it, Armenia should ban corruption and solve the issue of homeless people. The new government should hire professional soldiers and replace luxury tax by forcing the rich to pay more. The party also pays attention to the importance of the Armenian economy, and to recover the deposit system and encourage more start-ups. The electoral program also suggests the elimination of speedometers and the system of red lines across the country.
During the pre-election campaign Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanian alliance shared their thoughts, ideas and projects for upcoming elections with Tavush residents. “Despite the tensions we will keep fighting,” says Armen Martirosian. Seyran Ohanyan says that “My years of experience showed that we need a strong shoulder to hold on to. We need a developed economic system, and our unity and hard work is necessary for that.”
Tsarukyan Alliance has also started their election campaign in Tavush region, Armenia. The speaker of Tsarukyan Alliance is MP Naira Zohrabian, who holds the third place in the electoral list. She visited five villages surrounding Noyemberyan with posters about the program proposed by the party. According to the program, they will get rid of “the broken economy” of Armenia which holds “our final collapse,” raise the minimum wage, and abolish speedometers and red lines. If their party wins, new medium tax enterprises will be released in the next three years as well.
March 5, 2017 marks the beginning of the campaign sessions for this year’s Armenian parliamentary elections. This will be the first election for the country as a parliamentary republic since the constitutional referendum changes in 2015. The election day will take place on April 2, 2017, after which a two-tier voting process will take place to reach a final result. Armenian citizens over the legal age of 18 are allowed and highly encouraged to participate in the voting process.
Nine parties are competing this year for a position in the 101 available seats of the National Assembly.
The participating parties are the following:
- Yelq Bloc
- Free Democrats Alliance
- Armenian Renaissance
- Tsarukyan Alliance
- Armenian National Congress and People’s Party of Armenia
- Republican Party of Armenia
- Armenian Communist Party
- Ohanian-Raffi-Oskanian Alliance
- Armenian Revolutionary Federation
The Armenian musical group Reincarnation recently aired the promotional music video titled “Change the World” as a part of the campaign of the republican Party. The music video was funded by the Armenian Republican Party, and included the presence of a few well-known public figures. These included prime minister Karen Karapetian, Narek Hakhnazaryan, Levon Aronian, and Arthur Abrahamyan.
The video has received major backlash by viewers. The official video gained nearly double the number of dislikes, and has become a controversial topic on numerous blogs. Many disapprove of music being used as a medium to transmit political views.
Yelq Bloc started the campaign with Facebook lives at 24:00. Edmon Maruqyan, the leader of the Lusavor Hayastan visited Lori region. They ended the day with fund-raising evening at Mariott Hotel.
The Bridge will follow the developments of the electoral campaigns, and on daily basis, present the programs of the participating parties and alliances.