Parliamentary Elections in Armenia: From Decorative to Genuine Democracy?
Boris Navasardian | Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung | 2012
Armenia’s parliamentary elections on May 6, 2012 took place in the context of discussions on potential cooperation between Armenia and the European Union. In comparison with the scandalous events around the presidential elections of 2008 this year’s elections are considered a positive step by international observers. However, there were various incidents which indicate that the distortion of the genuine will of the Armenian electorate is no less than before. A final evaluation of Armenia’s readiness for deeper cooperation with the EU will be possible only after the presidential election in 2013.
The parliamentary election has restricted the field of possible competitors in the battle for the president’s chair. The alliances formed after the elections in defiance of any political principle or program are the prelude to prepare for the presidential election in 2013, but without favourizing any particular contender of the incumbent Serzh Sargsyan yet. The absence of any consolidated program and political preferences among those parties entering the National Assembly does not instill confidence in a genuine democratic development or an effective reform strategy. The system of an oligarchic democracy has proved itself very enduring.
Any alternative agenda depends more than ever on the active influence of external factors. These might include the establishment of the Russian driven »Eurasian Union « or the European Union »Eastern Partnership«, based on the principle of »more for more« and focused on »deep and sustainable democracy«. The strengthening of the positive tendencies in relation to the 2013 elections, as well as European Institution’s clear formulation of new expectations of progress could act as a catalyst for genuine democratization rather than the »decorative« democracy evidenced in the elections of May 6.