BY TAMARA S. VOSKANIAN
YEREVAN—On May 2, Armenia welcomed three young volunteers from Canada who will join the monitoring mission for Yerevan’s May 5 mayoral election. Anoush Frankian of Toronto, Ararad Torosyan of Montreal, and Rupen Janbazian of Toronto will join more than 100 other diasporan Armenians who will be monitoring the election alongside 1,700+ local monitors.
For each of the three youth, this trip to Armenia is a welcome opportunity to return to the homeland. Each has spent months at a time in Armenia as volunteers, and has shown long-term commitment to participating in Armenia’s development and democratization. In Anoush’s words, “Armenia has great potential to flourish. Devoting myself, and encouraging others to partake in its development is critical to the country’s success.”
Anoush, Ararad and Rupen hope that their decision to fly to Armenia for the election will heighten enthusiasm in the diaspora for the political changes happening in Armenia. “We believe this is the minimum Diasporan youth can do to contribute to the development of a democratic Hayastan where the rule of law prevails, something that is critical to ensure that emigration stops and hopefully repatriation becomes larger in scale.”
For more information about how the Local-Diaspora monitoring mission began, watch: http://civilnet.am/2013/04/03/observing-elections/.