May 31 2013

"Unfortunately, the opposition in Armenia is very weak. However,
it is the foundation of any democracy, and we are very interested
in the maturity of the opposition in our country." We have been
hearing this kind of talk since 1995, and the authors of such "highly
democratic" ideas were, naturally, the current government. Rephrasing
the well-known quote a little bit, one can say that the powers that be
are never so hypocritical as after elections. Ensuring their victory
in elections literally at any cost - mostly using "financial means"
recently - they then shed crocodile tears: oh, how bad it is that there
is no opposition in Armenia! This official "regret" about not having
opposition contradicts the admissions that representatives of the
government make off the record. At the lowest "neighborhood" level:
"We AIN'T GONNA let these guys hang around here: we are the masters
here." At a higher Republican level: "God forbid that such and such
should become village chief, mayor, or president: he just talks and
we work." Certainly, those are justifications by which they try to
conceal ordinary fear of losing economic or political levers. Perhaps
one should not seriously argue with such "unofficial" concerns because
we didn't have an opportunity to empirically check those claims. The
government has professedly changed in Armenia just once, in 1998, but
a part of the government, the Prime Minister and silovik ministers,
not the oppositionists, came to power. Admittedly, as a result of
that "change of power," some former oppositionists were appointed
to certain offices - members of the National Democratic Union (NDU)
and members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) - but it
is impossible to say that it resulted in something's demolition or,
the other way around, something's blossom; the same "inappropriate"
status of government institutions has remained. The style of mastering
hasn't changed. The following claim has also been among the "official
regrets" expressed in the past 18 years: "The opposition didn't win
because it wasn't able to unite." Although there is a grain of truth
here, but at the end of the day, it is the government's bait to put
forward the task of "uniting" and then become disappointed if that
task hasn't been achieved. Whether the oppositionists unite or not,
whether they criticize each other or not gives certain nuances, but
it doesn't have an impact on the final result when the government
AIN'T GONNA let them. The oppositionists certainly have a lot of
shortcomings, but those cannot be compared to the vices of the

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