The citizens of Armenia will be heading to the ballot box to elect the next National Assembly. For the first time in more then twenty years, they will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred political party and individual candidates, at their free will.
On December 9th, one of the main goals of the People’s Revolution of April and May will become reality. A new parliament will be formed and many representatives of the former oligarchic system will not be part of it.
The first ten days of the election campaign progressed in a calm atmosphere. Yes, there were mutual attacks and mudslinging, but it was all within acceptable norms. Unlike previous elections, the use of state levers, pressure on the voters, the collection of passports and the widespread bribery in particular, are absent.
TV interviews and debates are open to all parties. The internet news sites are accessible to all candidates, and the media covers the participating parties’ campaign activities and political platforms equally. All these give confidence that upcoming elections will be free, fair and transparent.
European observers assessed the first week of electoral process positively, and expressed hope that elections in Armenia will go forward in accordance with democratic standards and results will reflect the true will of the people.
All these are very important for the future of the country. It will help to bring about not only political stability, but also in terms of foreign investments, which are important ingredients in improving the economy and with it the living standard of the people.
However, there is some anxiety that the remnants of the previous regime will try to muddy the waters as much as they can. Already, they are complaining that there is pressure on their supporters, and about the use of administrative levers against them. There is a good possibility that after the election results are announced, they will protest and call in to question the validity of the whole electoral process and they will lodge complaints with international organizations.
All these are expected, but we hope that such attempts will fail, and after the elections a new and brighter chapter will be opened for Armenia.