STRONG OPPOSITION IN KARABAKH
Naira Hayrumyan

Story from Lragir.am News:
http://www.lragir.am/engsrc/country26732.html
Published: 16:32:01 - 02/07/2012

The Armenian mass media is actually ignoring the presidential elections
in Karabakh, either believing the result is predetermined, or having
lost any interest to the peace life in Karabakh at all.

Apparently, Armenia has "joined" the Diaspora which has always treated
Karabakh as a sacred thing, which should be cared for and "weeded"
to exclude any penetration of a tree into the marble of patriotism.

In the meantime, the election campaign is gaining momentum in Karabakh
threatening to bring Karabakh ahead of Armenia in the competition
for democracy. And even if Bako Sahakyan is reelected president,
the atmosphere of the total hypnosis is disappearing in Karabakh.

For already several years, this atmosphere has been penetrating
into all of the sphere of the life - from economy to the human
rights. The owner of a different opinion is considered someone
"sent", self-promotion is seen as a treachery and breach of unity,
and the truth is the main threat to the stability.

In such a stable pseudo-reality, appears someone who says that the
economy of Karabakh is monopolized be several families, that the
freedom of speech is repressed, and that administrative resources
are used during the elections, that Karabakh needs an active foreign
policy. The stability has been broken, but the former methods of
hypnosis don't function any more - Vitali Balasanyan can be hardly
accused of "espionage" since he is a hero of the Artsakh war, a
military general. It is difficult to accuse him of the breach of
stability, since elections are meant to point out the shortcomings
of their rivals.

But most importantly: during the campaign meetings it appears that
people are just standing at the start to break the pseudo-stability.

They want that the apartments in Karabakh built with state funds
were not sold on credit through commercial banks, but at least at
market prices. They want that after serving 25 years in the Army,
they could have the possibility to open a small business, and maintain
the family. They want to have a normal foreign minister, who would
live in 2012, not in 1988.

Last presidential elections in Karabakh were really alternative too:
Masis Mayilyan managed to create the image which was accepted by many.

He was so perfect that even his opponents said that his only
shortcoming is his young age and the "glamour".

In 2004, really democratic elections were held in Karabakh when the
opposition candidate Eduard Aghabekyan was elected Mayor of Stepanakert
(then the opposition was not believed to be spies).

Now, Eduard Aghabekyan, Masis Mayilyan and Vitali Balasanyan are in the
same team, and this is a big force in Karabakh. If we add the desire
of the greater part to come out of the marsh and start a new life,
we may hope for interesting elections in Karabakh. The best result
would be the second round, in which everyone could make their choice.

But the fact that it turned out possible to unite the three politicians
who were not hypnotized (or managed come out of it in time) shows
the necessity for changes. And if this team succeeds in the Karabakh
elections, the process may shift to Armenia, as it has already once
happened.


From: Baghdasarian