ARMENIA: YEAR OF ELECTIONS
Hrant Mikaelian, Master of Political Science, Researcher at the Institute of the Caucasus (Erevan, Armenia)
This article takes a look at the national and local elections held in Armenia in 2012-2013, examining in particular the opportunities they created for political competition, the validity of the election results, their consequences, and so on. The author prefaces his study by first examining the national elections held in Armenia in the 1990s and 2000s. Furthermore, he focuses on the viewpoints that are still pertinent today and can enhance our understanding of the current election processes. Whenever possible, the author presents a detailed review of all the statistics currently available to characterize the election process and the development of the domestic political situation in Armenia several years after the 2008 presidential election.
Keywords: Armenia’s domestic policy, Armenia’s local self-government system, 2012 parliamentary elections in Armenia, 2013 presidential elections in Armenia.
The post-election opposition of 2008, which took human lives, put the sustainability and consistency of Armenia’s political system to a serious test. In 2012-the beginning of 2013, another round of parliamentary and presidential elections was held in the country. Local elections were also held in the interval between them.
According to the minimalist conception, a country can call its government system democratic when it holds competitive elections. Joseph Schumpeter, one of the initiators of this conception, defined democracy as follows: “the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.” This conception saw the light in the 1930s; since then elections, even if only formal, began being held in almost every country of the world. So the above definition was upgraded and now presupposes the existence of an institutional environment, including free media, and so on.
Even if the quality of the election process is not taken as a criterion of the existence or absence of democracy, nation-wide voting is still a good starting point for carrying out a case-study of the………………..