Campaign period begins for snap parliamentary elections in Armenia
The election campaign for Armenia’s early parliamentary elections, scheduled for 9 December, has officially launched in Armenia. Eleven parties and blocks are running.
“Revolutionary” government launches campaign with rallies in regional areas
The acting Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, is the first candidate on his My Step bloc election list.
He has decided to take a two-week hiatus from his position as acting prime minister to take part in election rallies. He began the election campaign in the Shirak region and visited four cities where he was greeted by thousands of citizens.
A big rally took place in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city. Pashinyan spoke on the square from which he began his walk to Yerevan in April 2018, which eventually culminated in the Velvet Revolution.
In each of the cities located in the Shirak region, Pashinyan identified problems facing the country and ways to resolve them.
He repeated a recent statement made by him in that all the promises his team made to the people during and after the revolution have been fulfilled, and that citizens should now entrust their vote to him and his team to resolve other problems.
He noted that an economic revolution will follow after the recent political revolution in Armenia:
“We must raise Armenia to a new political and economic level. We will completely free small business from taxes. Businesses whose annual income does not exceed 24 million drams (approximately $50 thousand) will be exempt from taxes.”
Pashinyan also stated that the population will never again need to carry out a revolution in Armenia, as they can achieve a change in power through elections. This, he says, is the main achievement of the velvet revolution.
“If you decide [it necessary] to carry out a revolution, you can do it through a single vote. Why did I become prime minister? Because you decided so. How long will I stay in this position? As long as you decide.”
Former ruling party has not yete come out onto the streets
The former ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has begun its election campaign by having meetings with journalists. Two RPA members have invited journalists to a press conference, and the first candidate of the RPA went on the air in a Yerevan TV broadcast.
However, the RPA has not taken to the streets. The Deputy Chairman of the RPA, Armen Ashotyan, said that they intend to canvas by going door to door:
“This is not about big rallies. When we were in power, we held these meetings, and went door to door and met with voters. The situation has changed – now they are in power. Today they hold large rallies, but we will go door to door and meet with voters. We are not ashamed of this.”
The RPA has criticized the rule and results of Pashinyan’s prime ministership. Ashotyan said that the prime minister should go about his business instead of going on a hiatus and leading the election campaign. Ashotyan says all social polls indicate that Nikol Pashinyan and his bloc will win. Moreover, Ashotyan said that no one doubts the victory of the revolutionary leader and his team.
However, Ashotyan said that in December the public might be in for a surprise regarding the results that the former ruling party may achieve in the elections.