Armenian paper unruffled by Bush’s election victory

Armenian paper unruffled by Bush’s election victory

Novoye Vremya, Yerevan
4 Nov 04

The elections in the USA have helped the Armenian diaspora in this
country to demonstrate power of its political potential.

A candidate for presidency supported by the Armenian diaspora of the
USA was defeated. Will [Senator] John Kerry’s defeat have an impact on
relations of the Armenian diaspora leaders with the White House?

Ethnic Armenian members of the Republican Party, who despite their
party affiliation have campaigned for the Democrats, have been
concerned about this from the very beginning. A 1996 scenario was
actually repeated when all the Armenians of the USA openly supported
the Republican candidate, Bob Dole, who was competing with Bill
Clinton re-elected for the second term.

That time the head of the White House did not take revenge on the
Armenians. No special problems occurred. So, I think we should not be
scared that the Republican administration will remind the leadership
of the Armenian organizations of their “disloyalty”. [US President]
George Bush was ignoring the interests of his ethnic Armenian citizens
during his first tenure. For this reason, anything would hardly change
after his re-election. It would not be worse than it is now.

Despite John Kerry’s defeat, these elections may, nevertheless, be
called a small victory of the Armenians. The point is that the
Armenian organizations managed to demonstrate their powerful political
potential to the US establishment. The Armenians have never managed to
mobilize such a huge financial and human resources for the
elections. It may be described as a coincidence, but the fact is that
Kerry won an impressive victory in the states where the Armenian
organizations had the strongest position (California, Massachusetts,
Illinois, Pennsylvania).

The Armenians supported John Kerry realizing that his rival had more
chances to win, as the powerful administrative resources backed the
latter. Experience shows that the campaigning against the acting
president is often unsuccessful. But pro-Armenian candidates used to
compete with the acting presidents. This occurred at the 1996
elections as well, the outcome of which disappointed us. But in that
case it was more important to maintain adherence to principles. From
this viewpoint, the Armenians won as well.

The elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives were held
along with the presidential elections on Sunday [as published]. The
Armenians have always attached more importance to the Congress rather
than the [presidential] administration as it is more difficult to
influence the former. John Kerry’s defeat could be compensated by
success of the pro-Armenian congressmen and senators.

The seats of a third of the senators and of all 435 members of the
House of Representatives were contested. The majority of the so-called
Armenian group of the Congress “renewed” their mandates and will
continue the legislative activity. The average index of the acting
congressmen’s re-election is about 85 per cent. At previous elections,
92 per cent of the “Armenian group” members “renewed” their
mandates. An outcome is not known yet. On the eve of the elections the
Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Committee of
America disseminated the list of candidates whose candidacies were
recommended for support. Their purpose was to preserve the current
number of the pro-Armenian congressmen (there are 133 members in the
“Armenian group” now).

[Passage omitted: reiteration]