Երկուշաբթի, 22. 04. 2024

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Armenia Needs Political Diversity

Hagop Avedikian, Editor of the Azg (Nation) daily (published in Armenia), shared his opinion of constitutional reforms in an interview with Tert.am

As a member of a traditional Armenian political party, he is not for party merger. According to him, it is an artificial process. Mr. Avedikian proposes that Armenia adopt European standards because Europe affords opportunities for both traditional and new parties.

With respect to the statements that the reason for party merger is that such a high number of political parties is unacceptable in a country like Armenia, Mr. Avedikian said: “Yes, 63 political parties are said to be registered in Armenia. But being registered is a different thing. We have more than 4,000 non-governmental organizations. But only a few of them are capable of anything. As regards party merger, it is an artificial process.

What is the basis? Are parties expected to join one another and form new parties? I cannot understand it.” Asked about solutions, Mr. Avedikian said:

“A solution would be reducing the threshold for parties running for Parliament from 7% for political alliances and 5% for political parties down to 1%. But it may be irrelevant as well. In Israel, for example, small political parties may be influential reforms or formation of a new government –even if they have a couple of their representatives. And two major parties may counterbalance each other. This is one of the ways of forming a multiparty system in Armenia, but not by means of artificial party merger.

Merger round what? Numerous parties with different names joined the Prosperous Armenia party (a list compiled prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections – ed.) What was the ideological basis of that alliance?” Elaborating on constitutional reforms, Mr. Avedikian pointed out their advisability.

“I have not examined the concept so I cannot say anything. But my principled stand is as follows: when we say ‘Constitution’, it must be honored at any cost. “As regards the proportional representation and first-past-the-post voting systems, I would support proportional representation if Armenia’s political parties were real political parties. Most of them are one-man parties or money-parties. Very few parties are of global importance in Armenia, and they are idle if they have no money or power. They face serious problems in political integration. Therefore, proportional representation or first-past-the-post voting systems do not matter.”

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