President Armen Sarkissian has published a lengthy article identifying Armenia’s failures in recent decades, domestically and in foreign policy, which led to its defeat in the war with Azerbaijan. The President lays out his ideas and plans to solve the internal and external crisis Armenia is currently facing. In the end, he proposes the holding of snap elections, which should follow the change of the Electoral Code and some provisions of the Constitution. “Until then, a government of national accord must be formed with the help of the institution of the President, one of the legitimate, balanced and impartial branches of government,” Armen Sarkissian wrote.
Immediately after the end of the war, President Sarkissian, joining the opposition’s calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister, unfortunately lost the important factor of being “one of the impartial branches.” For this reason, Sarkissian’s mediation steps, sound somewhat disingenuous today.
The President’s proposal is similar to the proposal of Prime Minister Pashinyan. Both are talking about snap elections that could take place after some legislative changes, and within a reasonable timeframe, probably after overcoming the pandemic.
Almost all political factions agree that the resolution of the internal political crisis can only take place through elections, as resorting to any other means will lead the country’s collapse and destruction. However, the main question remains as to what type of government should organize the next elections.
The opposition-led “National Salvation Movement” is demanding that their candidate, Vazgen Manoukyan be elected Prime Minister by the Parliament, and they promise to hold new elections after one year. This demand is unrealistic and not easily achievable, as the current Parliament is dominated by Pashinyan’s party, and will not cede power to an opposition which does not seem to have much public support. Over the past two months, the “Movement” has failed to oust Pashinyan through sparsely attended street protests, due to a mass majority of the population in Armenia who lack confidence that it will be able to honor its promises or hold free and fair elections, given its past history.
In order to organize the elections, President Sarkissian speaks of a “government of national accord” that must be made up of professionals and experts. This proposal would be logical if Armenia had well-established democratic structures and traditions. Under the current circumstances, the opposition, possessing financial and other resources, can easily infringe on the government of professionals and return to power with its arsenal of electoral fraud and bribery.
With all these in mind, the next elections must be held as soon as possible, but in accordance with the laws of the country adhering to the Constitution. The current government is the only legitimate body that can ensure the free expression of the will of the people of Armenia.