LIFE ON THE OLD CONSTITUTIONAL ROAD
Hakob Badalyan

Lragir
Feb 4 2008
Armenia

Judging by statements of the government and information from pollsters,
the presidential election is envisaged to be held in one round and end
up with the victory of the government candidate, of course. Even the
range of percentage creativity of the government is being outlined -
60 to 70 percent. It is clear that all the methods will be used from
intimidation to immense election bribes. The government's likelihood
to win in one round could be explained by reluctance to run risk. As
long as the opposition is divided into wings, the opportunity should
be used to finish it in one round.

Meanwhile, in case of a second round the opposition may come together
and endorse the opposition candidate who wins the first round, and
the consequences may be unpredictable. At least, this is one of the
explanations of the first round and one of the popular ones. However,
the second round usually gets the Armenian presidential elections
pass more quietly.

For instance, there was no second round in 1996, and the events of
September took place, which could have changed the state of things
if organized better. Meanwhile, the run-off election in 1998 fluently
legitimized Robert Kocharyan's presidency. The same was in 2003 when
mass protests took place after the first round, and the government
held a run-off election, after which the country was placed on "the
constitutional track". For the government, it is always favorable to
finish in one round. Perhaps, however, one round is enough to satisfy
everyone because it is not the round that makes the Armenian political
forces happy. Consequently, considering the previous experience when
the government was rather mean in the first round but in the second
round it had to make a deal, this time the government has decided to
strike the deal in the first round and waste no time on the second
round.

To say that all the political forces are subjects in this trade would
be unfair. Some of them may even be objects or subobjects. Some of
them may not be engaged in it at all or may not consider it as trade
but as a political process. However, the political process is actually
the race for power. And if the government does not intend to run in
this race, the so-called political process turns into mere trade,
which has been the case in Armenia for ten years, or maybe even
more. It is normal that without a real political process a change of
the government is impossible. Manifestations of the political process
are sometimes visible, sometimes even tangible.

However, the logic of their occurrence unfortunately allows concluding
that we deal with unintended pieces of a political process which if
we ask them to repeat, the authors may be unable because they cannot
even realize how they made one ingenious political move or another.

The government perhaps realizes this state of things, or perhaps
perceived it at full in the parliamentary election. Consequently, it
perhaps thinks that if there is to be trade, why it should not be in
the first round. It is possible, however, that the political sphere
will not react adequately. After all, the custom is in the habit of
violent actions, and the political forces may not come to agreement
out of the force of habit because they are used to arrangements in
the second.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress