Armenia on the way to parliamentary election on April

Armenia, like Turkey, is waiting for the ballot boxes. The parliamentary election will be held on April 2. This is the first election after the constitutional amendment that would transfer the authority of the president to the parliament and the prime minister was passed and the most important question is whether the current government will maintain its power.

(YEREVAN) The most important item in Armenia's agenda is the parliamentary election that will be held on April 2. Undoubtedly, the ruling party, Republican Party of Armenia, which won the election 4 times before, is the strongest one.

Though the Republican Party of Armenia is sure that it will get the result it wants, other alliances and parties are getting ready for an intense competition for attaining the majority in the parliament. The distinctive thing about this election is the fact that the incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan will hand over the executive power to the parliament and the prime minister due to the new constitution; in other words, Sargsyan will “get out the game”. 

Along with the Republican Party of Armenia, there are other considerable figures in terms of the election: famous businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, who retired from politics in 2015 but returned now with a new bloc; former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan; and former Minister of Defence Seyran Ohanyan. Voters are also watching the works of former Minister of Interior Raffi Hovanistan and Vartan Oskanyan closely. 

Last September, new figure of the Republican Party of Armenia Karen Karapetyan became the prime minister and he is the most popular and liked person in the party. Because of his experience in private sector and overseas investment and his close ties with businessmen in Moscow, people hope that he will draw new investments to Armenia and realize the economic reform.

Vigen Sarkisyan became the minister of defense and he is as important as Karapetyan in terms of affecting the election process. People like and approve Sarkisyan more than other members of the party because of his intellectual background and modesty. If the Republican Party of Armenia would get the majority of the votes, Vigen Sarkisyan -for the term after Karapetyan- will be the first prime minister who is made stronger with the new constitution.

Parties and coalitions

Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Armenia accepted the application of 5 parties and 4 coalitions and numbered them officially. 1500 people in this 9 formations will be compete for being one of 198 deputies. Here are the parties that will be voted:

1- Way Out Bloc: “Election, change, victory”

Way Out Bloc consisting of the parties Bright Armenia, Civil Contract and Republic have 121 candidates. In the candidate list, Edmon Marukyan of the Bright Armenia Party is the first and the former prime minister Aram Sargsyan from the Republic Party follows him. The third name is the famous opponent Nikol Paşinyan, who drew attention by his reconciling attitude during the events of “Sasna Tsrer”.

2- Free Democrats: "We can"

The group doesn't represent itself as a coalition. Most of the people on the top of the list are not from Democrat Party. First name is the former prime minister Khaçatur Kokobelyan and Azadutyun Party deputy Hrant Bagratyan follows him. The promises of the bloc are mostly about “new privatizations” and liberal policies, which are the keys to economic development. Their motto is “We can”.

3- Armenian Renaissance Party: “Vote for the Renaissance”

We can say that Armenian Renaissance Party has risen from the ashes of the Rule of Law party. Artur Bağdasaryan is the first in the list consisting of 136 candidates. Deputies Mher Şahgeltyan and Heğine Bişaryan follow him. The party has yet to announce its promises, but it already declared that they might form a coalition with RPA.

4- Tsarukyun Bloc: “Time for Change and Creation”

In 2015, famous businessman Tsarukyun announced that he will retire from politics, though he was supported by and gave hope to many people. It was thought that his decision was caused by political pressure and he also resigned from Prosperous Armenia Party. Now, he once again entered the scene as the leader of the coalition consisting of Prosperous Armenia party, Alliance party and Mission party. As expected, Gagik Tsarukyun is leading the list. The party campaign is focused on economic plans.

5- Congress-PPA Bloc: “Peace, Tranquility and Good Neighborhood”

Consisting of Armenian National Congress and People's Party of Armenia, the bloc's most highlighted promise is “agreed peaceful solution” in Karabakh question. Former president Ter-Petrosyan, PPA chair Stephan Demirciyan, Levon Zurabyan, Zoya Tetvosyan and Aram Manukyan are at the top of the list consisting of 136 candidates.

6- Republican Party of Armenia: “Security and development”

Ruling party, Republican Party of Armenia, has a list of 197 candidates, led by minister of defense Vigen Sarkisyan. Assigned 3 months ago, Sarkisyan is the most popular name of the party campaign. Mayor of Yerevan Taron Markaryan and Arpine Hovhanisyan, known as the “first woman minister of justice in the Caucasus” are other important figures. Serzh Sargsyan is not on the list. Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan cannot be a candidate, since he hasn't lived in Armenia as much as the law requires. It is stated that if the party wins the election, Karapetyan will continue to hold his office. Prominent businessman Artak Sargsyan, Sambel Aleksanyan and Tigran Arzakancyal are also on the list. The party campaign is focused on regional security and development.

7- Armenian Communist Party: “Homeland, work and socialism”

Party chair Dacat Sargsyan is leading the list consisting of 173 candidates. Party representative Geğam Galustyan states that they aim to have 5% of the votes. The party has yet to organize rallies.

8- Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanyan Bloc: “Heritage, Alliance and Victory”

Seyran Ohanyan, the minister of defense of RPA a year ago, is leading the list of the bloc. Armen Mardirosyan of Heritage Party follows him. Former minister of foreign affairs Vartan Oskanyan, Elinar Vardanyan, Vahagn Hovhanisyan, Andranik Tevanyan are also on the list. Andrias Khukasyan is the 19th name on the list. He was arrested during Sari Tagh protests and is currently in jail.

9- Armenian Revolutionary Federation: “New Beginning and Fair Armenia”

Current coalition party Armenian Revolutionary Federation has 170 candidates. Led by the leader of “Dashnak Group” in the parliament Armen Rustamyan, the list includes deputy Ağvan Vardanyan and Minister of Territorial Administration Davit Lokyan. Minister of Educatiın Levon Mkrtchyan and Minister of Enviroment Ardzvik Minasyan are among the top ten. The party assumes the middle class as its main voters and talks about economic changes for families and retired people. Saying that “our ultimate goal is to unite Karabakh with Armenia”, the party also promises to reduce unemployment.


News Armenia

About Author

Aline Ozinian