The extraordinary parliamentary elections in Armenia went down in history. Like any election campaign, this one had its winners and losers, and it is worthwhile to review and evaluate the positive or negative role of many players in the overall picture.
Former president Robert Kocharyan entered the election campaign, proclaiming that he would be victorious and that he never lost an election. He believed that October 27, March 1, the dozens of political assassinations, the looting of the country’s wealth, the creation of an oligarchic system, are in a distant past and people have short memories.
Using huge financial resources, a wide media network, fake public opinion polls and forced attendance at his rallies, Kocharyan sought to create the image of a popular, strong, and invincible leader. Kocharyan and his entourage believed in that delusion and were confident that they would come to power and would settle accounts with Pashinyan.
The results proved otherwise and their disappointment was greatest as Kocharyan became the main loser of these elections.
The second “honorable” ranking on the list of losers belongs to several high-ranking clergymen of the Armenian Church, who throughout the election campaign, acted against their calling and became attached to one of the parties. Instead of providing spiritual guidance to their flock and listening, they deviated from their main mission and entered the minefield of politics. Their behavior after the announcement of the results was even more reprehensible when they began cursing the voters who went against their will, making insulting comments and threatening to take revenge on the people.
Among the losers is the first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, whose recent predictions turned out to be faulty. Ter- Petrosyan had a big opportunity to present himself as someone that embraces the principles of the 2018 People’s Revolution, but is a more experienced alternative. Adopting the slogans of the radical opposition, he crossed a red line, the main one of which was the public offer of allying with Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan, unacceptable to thousands of his past supporters. The number of votes received by his ANC came to prove that Levon Ter-Petrosyan was innacurate in his analysis.
There is a company in Armenia called Gallup which aims to conduct public opinion polls. This company has nothing to do with the well-known American Gallup. The results of its pre-election polls were not only full of blatant falsifications, but also turned out to be completely wrong, presenting the opposite picture of the upcoming political processes.
This Armenian Gallup came out discredited and deserves to be among the losers.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his Civil Contract party were the big winners. They did not give in to the temptation of rigging the election and relied solely on the judgment of the electorate.
Pashinyan’s victory was not a surprise, but the percentages he achieved were higher than expected. After visiting cities, towns, and villages and apologizing to the people for his government’s shortcomings, Pashinyan was able to mobilize his electorate, who chose to give the leader of the Revolution a second chance, this time replacing the velvet mantle with a steel one.
The biggest victory of this election belongs to the citizens of Armenia. Despite all the hardships and wounds left by the war, they were able to distinguish between falsehood and reality.
By refusing to return to the past, the citizens of Armenia managed to stand up for themselves, for their children and grandchildren to live and vote freely.