Monday, 7 May 2007

Do not kill electorate soul!

My pre-election thoughts (part 1)


It may be wise to gather on 13th May to discuss election results, but to suggest meeting 13th May because the elections WILL BE falsified, just a sign of weakness of opposition and its inability to get organised to fight for clean vote and free elections.

Couple of days ago, Aram Sargsyan, along with some other opposition leaders, appealed for people to gather on 13th May because he is SURE that the authorities WILL falsify the elections. I have problem with the verb “will”; would rather hear “will try to” or “may try to”. If people keep hearing from opposition leaders that the election results will be falsified and their participation, in fact, has no impact on election results, then they may as well think: “WHY BOTHER?”

Instead of killing electorate soul, opposition leaders should encourage active participation and discourage authorities’ efforts to make people feel hopeless and dependant. They should have thought of mechanisms on how to make current elections better, how to lessen vote rigging etc. I know, this may sound naïve but what is the alternative? The ‘external’ environment is more in favour this time, due to relatively high international pressure (which is far from enough). But probably they do not believe in themselves too. The history of electoral fraud in Armenia proved that opposition leaders were unable to confront authorities, were disorganised, lacking proper direction, and never kept their ‘promises’ to people that they will stand up for their votes. During each election they keep saying that, but we see… nothing. People need to know that opposition leaders have real strategy for this year, they are tired of populism and empty rhetoric.

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