This was the end of #armvote13: the process that started with the 2008 presidential election, with another wave post February 2013 election, only to finally die out on the 5th of May Yerevan election.
From year to year, from election to election: same process, same violations, same sh*t... and same (plus/minus the level of bizarreness) outcome. Non-ending story of f*-ed Armenian elections.
I became convinced that with current ruling regime in place, no change is possible via election. But it’s not just a matter of the authorities.
Even accounting for massive electoral fraud, the numbers received by main opposition parties are so small (even compared with previous elections) that should ring an alarm bell and serve them a food for thought. Armenian opposition could collectively write a bestseller: “How to lose electorate”.
True, Armenia has changed since 2008. With the use of online social networks, and particularly Facebook, and some influential offline actions, the voice of civil society and human rights activists is louder and more influential than it was ever before.
In addition, Diaspora is becoming (finally!) more aware and involved in current day Armenia issues, such as democracy, corruption, human rights. And unprecedented in numbers Diaspora observer mission during Yerevan election is a good sign that needs to develop further.
Ironically, European observers with their robotic “in line” and “improvements” concluding remarks, became a part of the problem. Not only they completely discredited themselves, by becoming a laughing stock among Armenian citizens, but turned into an obstacle to progress by effectively legitimising fraudulent elections.
Instead of flirting with the authorities, EU (and USA) should stand firm and demand - unequivocally - systematic changes in all fields of life. Not improvements. But radical changes. And without all these blackmail talks that this move will push Armenia more towards Russia. Armenia will steadily turn into ‘Russia’ without such changes anyway.
In the meantime... people are leaving the country. Armenia is being increasingly deserted of its potential. As @Golden_Tent rightfully pointed out on Twitter, “for the next 4 years, all voting in Armenia will be done with feet and one-way tickets.”
Armenia needs revolution. Revolution of minds. Cultural revolution. Sexual revolution. Revolution that will change the regime in Armenia before using such democratic means as election. Revolution that will swipe out the factor of “թաղի տղերք” [“neighborhood guys”] that became so defining in this and all other elections.