Last week Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, proposed a snap parliamentary elections to be held in December 2018. He met with the representatives of the Political Parties (that are represented in the current Parliament), to negotiate a process, and set a date. Unfortunately, they did not succeed to come to an agreement and contradictory statements and accusations were followed.
Pashinyan’s proposal was that he will resign and remain as an acting Prime Minister, if, the other Parties will agree not to nominate any other candidates within the next 14 days thus the Parliament will be dissolved and elections will be held in December.
(The constitutional process to dissolve the Parliament requires that when a Prime Minister resigns (either voluntarily or by a vote of nonconfidence) and within the next 14 days if no new Prime Minster can be elected, the parliament will be dissolved and new elections will be held).
A couple of days after the meeting the disgraced and discredited Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) (which holds a majority in the illegitimate parliament) issued a statement that they will agree to hold the election in May 2019.
In normal political conditions, this might be considered to be a reasonable proposal. It might be even a fairer, and a compromise solution, to hold the election in February 2019. Is it possible? maybe! will it happen? I hope so!. But considering the fact that the current political situation in Armenia is anything but normal, I will say nothing is for sure, and anything is possible. Here is why.
-We have a very popular Prime Minister and a government that is vastly supported by the PEOPLE of Armenia.
-There is also an illegitimate parliament (“elected” with a falsified vote) that not only has no legitimacy but, and especially, does not have the support, and the confidence, of the PEOPLE, and worst yet, it wants the government to report to, and be accountable, to the illegitimate Parliament!.
-There is also a discredited opposition Party (RPA) that has a majority in the illegitimate parliament that together with two other smaller Parties (PAP and Tashnagtsoutyun) are desperately trying to keep this abnormal and unsustainable status quo as long as possible for their own benefit at the expense of the country as a whole.
In a desperate move these “three amigos” convened a parliament session and with 67 show of hand votes (the electronic voting system was sabotaged) passed a law that, if a parliament’s session was interrupted by any means (including of course and especially by the PEOPLE), it will be considered an adjournment of the session and not the termination of the session!. and thus, it could be reconvened anywhere, at any time. An arrogant, and desperate move to say the least.
With this move, these “three amigos” or “gang of 67”, rendered themselves so untrustworthy that, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will be naive, if not irresponsible, to resign without a legally binding agreement (that is also in conformity with international norms), for a snap parliamentary elections within a reasonable time but no later than three months from the agreement date.
Needless to say these “three amigos” do not understand that, the peaceful demonstrations (mostly by young people) that forced the resignation of the “strong man” Serj Sargsyan’s government, changed hopeless Armenia from being a subservient society to a society of free and hopeful people. The chanting of “Մենք ենք տէրը մեր երկրին” (we are masters of our country) were not just slogans, they were cries of determination and commitment and there is no going back.
Here maybe it is important to say that, these “three amigos” (as political parties) with their most intellectually challenged MPs, are just the facade of the so-called “deep state” that behind the scene controls most of the levers of the government operations and need to be dismantled.
Only a legitimate Parliament (as the true representative of the PEOPLE of Armenia), together with an equally legitimate Government (accountable to the legitimate Parliament), will have the mandate, and the power, to start the process of dismantling the “deep state”.
It will be naive to think that the “deep state” is weak and powerless. (Like the illegitimate Parliament). They still have many operatives in every branch of the government. (Case in point was the recent listening, registering, and making public, the telephone conversation between the two highest-ranking interior security officers). It is time to “unmask” them and bring them to justice through an independent judicial commission. It is long overdue.
In the meantime, it will be prudent for the “three amigos” to face the reality and understand that, they have no choice but to agree to dissolve the current illegitimate parliament, and through a fair and transparent election accept and obey the verdict of the PEOPLE, the electorate.
Fortunately, the recent Municipal election in Yerevan City, proved beyond any doubt that, the current government is capable of holding free, fair, and transparent, elections. Now is the time to do the same through a snap parliamentary elections. The sooner the better.
Zohrab Bebo Sarkissian