Local Self-Government Is Defeated


Story from Lragir.am News:

Published: 12:08:03 – 26/01/2012

On February 12 local elections will be held in several communities
of Armenia. It is going to be hot in Hrazdan where the incumbent
Republican mayor Aram Danielyan and Sasun Mikayelyan from the Armenian
National congress will be running.

In the other communities the race will not be so tense unless
disagreement occurs between the Republicans and the Bargavach Hayastan.

In countries with developed political systems local elections are
an important platform for the national elections, and the force that
wins is the favorite force in the national elections.

In Armenia, however, the opposition has completely “let the local
elections go” to the government and only in exceptional cases does
it participate in the race. In the recent years the scramble for
local elections was mostly between the Republicans and the Bargavach
Hayastan Party for the head of a town or a village.

And the race usually is not of political nature. Local elections
are fertile soil for local strongmen and criminals when they run
personally or nominate their proteges, while the government tolerates
this to use the local self-governments to ensure the results of the
national elections.

Should the opposition think about changing the situation or is the
tactics of focusing on national “battles” more correct? The opposition
has already made a choice considering that the government does not
have enough resource to fight in places separately, hence this must
be ignored, and resource should be concentrated on national elections.

On the other hand, however, when local elections are surrendered,
the resource adds to the government, and the opposition loses in
local elections. In this case, of course, defeat is referred to
election fraud when election fraud cannot be combated due to the
lack of resource. For already a few years, this tactics does not
produce the necessary result and the government which defeated local
self-government uses it effectively for the national “battle”.

Perhaps it is time the opposition reviewed the approaches and started
paying more attention to opposing to the local elections, which may
foster decentralization in Armenia. Decentralization alone may help
the opposition to achieve better results in national elections.

Otherwise, delivering politics to the regions only during the election
campaign leads to a situation when the game is over before the local
audience is able to understand what is happening.

From: Baghdasarian


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