Political parties operating in democratic countries represent the interests of certain sectors of the society. They work on behalf of these sectors, advance their interests, and then ensure their votes during the elections.
For example, in the United States, the Republicans generally support the interests of the wealthy, and the Democrats are known as the advocates for the middle class and the poor. Both parties receive large share of their votes from the respective sectors.
In Armenia, these political concepts do not apply. The Republican Party (ARP), led by Serzh Sarkisian, uses all its potential to protect the interests of rich elite, but the majority of the votes it received during the last elections came from the poor. This is how the Party is able to hold power for the past twenty years.
Two reports have been made public in the last few days. The European observers released their final report on last April’s parliamentary elections. They highlighted the widespread distribution of bribes as the reason why the public does not have confidence in the electoral process. The second report relates to the poverty level in Armenia. According to official figures, one third of the Armenia’s population – 880,000 individuals are poor. This number is close to the number of votes the RPA received during the recent elections. These two reports, in a way, compliment each other.
The adopted method is the same. First, they lead the people to poverty, kept them there for years, and now, without much difficulty, are able to buy their votes for 10,000 drams ($ 20) each.
The RPA has found the secret of staying in power by making Armenia’s 880,000 poor people its electoral base.