Armenian Libertarian-Socialist Movement

Global, Caucasian and Armenian politics in anarchist perspective

An interesting twist in Armenian pre-elections process

Posted by kronstadt on March 3, 2007

IMPEACHMENT yesterday image taken from A1+After the failure to come up with a list of candidates for the parliamentary elections, the Justice block (comprising of 9 opposition parties) has ceased to exist.  “The Artarutyun [JUSTICE] alliance is announcing the termination of its activities,” said Grigor Harutiunian, secretary of the bloc’s parliamentary faction.

Whether this was the fault of Stepan Demirchian’s stubbornness over the recent months, or the broader set of factors to do with the lack of ideology or the hyper-inflated egos of the opposition leaders or, maybe even, death of political imagination and broad perspectives within the Armenian social science as well as the Armenian society at large, is not the question to ponder at this stage.

At the same time another force in Armenian politics, formerly known as Ayl@mtranq socio-political initiative, has re-branded itself as “Impichment” in just over a week after it marched across the streets of Yerevan sporting its funky “@” logo and calling itself “The Alternative”.  Now, it seems, Ayl@ntranq has moderated it’s radicalism… probably as a means to participating in mainstream elections (while the turn-up has dramatically diminished).  Are they expressing the desire to play along the given parliamentary rules of the game?  This new Impeachment will serve as an umbrella for small parties which doubt president’s legitimacy to join efforts.  When asked, they confirmed that they offer Ishkhanapokhutyun (a change of government), which in our view is hardly an Alternative. 

The primary aim of the Impeachment is to impeach President Kocharian whose 10 year rule ends next year.  To this end the Impeachment is prepared to attract political actors from very diverse range of political parties, which poses a concern about the ideological direction of this movement when it comes to other issues and policies, once, and IF, El Presidente is impeached.  They have already attracted the Democratic party and Conservative party, which in itself is a bizarre hybridization in terms of ideology and direction.

“By Impeachment we also mean the impeachment of the Oligarkhs; By Impeachment we mean the impeachment of Armenia’s governing mentality; By impeachment we also mean the impeachment of all the others who are being prepared for the presidential seat”, said Nikol Pashinyan in his yet another passionate speech yesterday as 300 or so people gathered near Matenadaran to listen to him and other leaders of the Impeachment/Aylentranq. (brief video footage available here.)  As one of our own sources in Yerevan reports the absolute majority of the gathered were pensioners and people over the age of 40.  There was also a small group of young ones, who apparently looked like they didn’t belong there.

Nevertheless, in light of the collapse of the Justice block, Impeachment put forward a new spin on their rhetoric aiming to fill the vacuum which was created by the collapse of the Justice bloc and which has been widely discussed in the press. By its inability to unite and form a sizable force, the opposition has proved its unwillingness to oust the multilayered structures of power constructed by El Presidente over the years, which is why Impeachment aims to be an open source to attract their disappointed party members.    

After registering (on March 1st) as “Impeachment”, they have confirmed that they will be submitting their list of Parliamentary candidates today (March 3rd), which is the CEC deadline.

The collapse of Justice Block could boost the growth and popularity of Impeachment, however their preparedness to be a hybrid umbrella for other already existing parties, as well as their reluctance to formulate what they mean by the structural alteration of governance still remain as a concern.  As one of our own said “They say ‘Alternative’, but not what kind of alternative. The way things are, any move in any direction out of this quagmire would be an alternative”.  The tone and style of their speech sounds radical, yet the inherently technocratic overtone of their content hardly approaches the variety of radicalism and uniqueness that the masses crave for and demand by their increasingly desperate modes of expression.

Their next meeting is scheduled for next Sunday, 11th at 17:00, again near Matenadaran.    

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9 Responses to “An interesting twist in Armenian pre-elections process”

  1. Chronosian said

    Unfortunatly Ayl@ntrank did not manage to progress at this moment. Probably it is because of they started the process pretty late. But i think it was not the aim.
    Will the opposition join to the Impeachment after the ellection? I think they will join only if Ayl@ntrank manages to gather more people.

  2. kronstadt said

    The dual process that I refered to is the dissolution of “Justice” and on the same day Impeachment twisting their rehetoric in the following manner: “by their unwillingness to unite despite their differences, the opposition has demonstarted that it’s priority is not to get rid of the existing regime — If you want to get rid of the exuisting regime, then come to us”. Do you see what’s happening? They don’t want to attract leaders of various opposition parties, but instead they want to attract the members from other parties, and most importantly their dissapointed supporters.
    Today was the deadline for CEC sumbissions.
    over 1400 candidates have been registered on the Party lists alone
    28 parties have entered the elections race and only 1 alliance (Impeachment).
    Are you catching their drift?

    I’m slightly dissapointed in that they have turned out to be just another power-seeking group sporting charisma and passion, but not the unique substance that could captivate the grassroots and mobilise the grassroots into self-governance activities. I’m also dissapointed in that they joined hands with the Conservative Party (though conservative party is insignificant, they are still conservatives).

    But maybe Aylentrank is just simply not experienced in question’s of power-subversion from below, which is a very European, trade-nionist and syndycalist tactic.

    At the same time some very interesting moves are being made by our good-old comrades on the Left: the Progressive Party, the Marxist Party, the Renewed Communist party, the ACP, the Henchaks and some other minor worker parties. But more on this some other time.

  3. […] Commission of Armenia (CEC) in order to participate in the May 12, 2007 Parliamentary Elections. Kronstadt at ALS movement has some figures: […]over 1400 candidates have been registered on the Party […]

  4. […] հատկացված ժամանակը։ ՀԱՍ Շարժում բլոգում Kronstadt-ը որոշ թվեր է ներկայացրել. […]միայն կուսակցական […]

  5. Uzogh said

    Impeachment for the president, that is on his last ruling year Is a kind of political nonsense for me.

    I think that this motto was just a hint for possible opposition partners, that will show them, that this movement is something acceptible for “genuine”/”traditional” opposition.

    But again – they are failing.

  6. Chronosian said

    Ayl@ntrank seems to be a people’s movement and anybody can join to the movement. That is a point that Nicol Pashinian reasserts in his every speech. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Here is an excerpt from his 2nd of March speech. Which basically compares the movement with mustard seeds which is tiny but produces enormous plant unlike a potato which is big but is infested by Colorado Potato Beatle.

    Ես ուզում եմ ելույթս սկսել այն հարցից, որ ենթադրում եմ` շատերն են իրենց մեջ տալիս: Ինչո±ւ է մեր այսօրվա հանրահավաքի մասնակիցների թիվը մեզ համար ոչ բավարար: Այս հարցին պատասխանելիս ինձ կօգնի մանանեխի առակը: Մանանեխի հատիկը ամենափոքրն է, բայց երբ այն ցանում ես, նրանից աճած ճյուղերի վրա թառում են երկնքի թռչունները: Մենք այսօր քիչ ենք, որովհետեւ ցանում ենք, ցանելիս սերմի ծավալը քիչ է լինում, բայց մեր բերքը լինելու է առատ: Այսօր մենք ցանում ենք, որովհետեւ գարուն է, իսկ ամռանը մենք հունձ ենք անելու, եւ մեր հունձը լինելու է առատ: Մանանեխի հատիկը ամենափոքրն է, կարտոֆիլի հատիկը` ամենամեծը: Բայց կարտոֆիլի հատիկից աճած ճյուղերի վրա կարող են ապրել միայն Կոլորադյան բզեզները (կարտոֆիլի բողոճները), եւ դուք տեսնում եք, թե ինչպես են բլոճները վրա տվել կարտոֆիլին` դեռ չծլած: Պարոնա°յք, ձեր կարտոֆիլը չի ծլելու¦,- հայտարարեց Փաշինյանը,

  7. I like the analogy with “potato” 🙂
    its like Potato=Dodo, Mustard=Aylentranq, Poppy=Taliban, Rose=Labor
    what shall we compare our movement to? MJ or Orchid?

    Chronosian, my comrade, Yes Aylentranq has a future in the forthcomming months – not the least because it is the only registered alliance, which means that it will soon start attracting a lot of people.

    But there is a problem with populism… it is a breading ground for demagoguery, which is how right-wing parties progress: they reduce everything to basic categories so as to get the mass-support. This is how the populis logic works: “Let’s focus on what unites us all. What unites us all is the fact that we are all Armenian. This means that Nation is the identifying category. This means that we should all be nationalists.” Populism is the way to gain mass-support quickly…. but at what cost?

    It is a lot more difficult and time-consuming to gain a popular support from the grassroots buy engaging in a deep analysis of what is what, and how things work, and to what effect, on local and global scale with each and every person. Like that you can show that nationalism is ultimately a destructive force; like that you can show that the things that have been portrayed by the State, the bourgeois class and the Imperialists to be contradictions and illogical, are not contradictions after all and make a perfect sense when viewed in broad historical perspectives. I understand that such way of doing things won’t get you into the parliament in 2 months time, but at least you’re not feeding into the game-plan.

    I think you are confusing people-power with populism. What is Labour Party’s and Respect Coalition’s (other such European left-wing parties’ power)??? Their power comes not so much from the popular appeal as much as from their grip of Trade Unions as well as their history of being the only beacon of worker rights and civil rights in the face of right-wing bourgeois hipocrisy.

    Democracy and people-power doesn’t come from poetic speeches – it comes from substanceof action at the grassroots, which seeks to empower the grassroots.

  8. nazarian said

    This is going to be a ‘mustard revolution’ if it succeeds.

  9. I don’t know about “revolution”. … more like “Mustard Impeachment”. I think both Ukrainian nationalists and Georgian Mickey Mouses deeply misunderstands what a revolution means.

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