On Sunday, December 9, citizens of Armenia will head to the polls to elect a new parliament. This will be the first national election following this spring’s popular movement, which toppled the former regime ushering in a new era in Armenia where the people will take control of their destiny.
Fair elections, where citizens are free to vote their conscience is one of the pillars of democracy. Unfortunately, for the past several decades Armenian citizens have been deprived of that right because successive governments have used their levers to pressure, coerce and intimidate voters in order to advance their corrupt agendas.
The December 9 elections will be a test of the new Constitution that was approved in 2015 and changed Armenia to parliamentary system of government. While the April 2017 elections were to have successfully ushered in the new era, the brazen and unapologetic tactics of the previous regime deterred the public from casting their preferred votes. The elections will have an indelible effect on Armenia and the entire Armenian Nation.
For more that 128 years, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has been fighting to ensure social justice, human rights and the people’s expression of free will. It was these tenets that compelled the ARF to lead a national movement that would result in the declaration of Armenia’s independence and the establishment of the first Republic of Armenia in 1918, the centennial of which was celebrated this year by all Armenians in the homeland and the Diaspora.
It is based on the aforementioned ideals and more than century of experience in advancing them throughout the world that the ARF in Armenia is participating in the December 9 elections. The party’s frontrunners have publicly declared that having taken lessons from the recent past, they are looking forward to a future where the people of Armenia can not only determine their own fate, but also live in a country where their rights for socio-economic prosperity and justice are protected.
Armenia and the Armenian Nation are facing critical—and existential—challenges. The tenuous peace in Artsakh is under constant military threat by Azerbaijan. International pressures on Armenia regarding regional priorities of other nations pose undue demands on Armenia to recalibrate its domestic and foreign priorities.
These challenges, however, must not deter—and in fact must encourage—the Armenian voter to go to the polls and voter his/her conscience, in order to strengthen democracy and rule of law in Armenia. Only through a strong and self-determined population can Armenia become strong and flourish,
The ARF Western U,S believes the platform and ideals of the ARF will lead our Homeland to a brighter future. A future that includes the just aspirations of the Armenian nation and reflects the commitment to progress with the establishment of social and economic justice and the defense of human and civil rights for all citizens, as well as a strong and prosperous Artsakh.