Elections

New Armenia’s Parliamentarians

New Armenia’s Parliamentarians

Armenia’s first post-Velvet Revolution parliament will hold its maiden session on January 14. Who are the men and women who will be serving the Armenian people as parliamentarians? EVN Report presents some interesting facts.

These Four MPs Left the Republican Caucus to Run Under Pashinyan’s Banner

These Four MPs Left the Republican Caucus to Run Under Pashinyan’s Banner

On April 17, 2018, when Armenia’s National Assembly elected Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister in anticipation of the transition from a presidential to parliamentary form of government, all 58 members of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) caucus were present and voted in favor. That unanimity would not last long. Now, four of those members of parliament (MPs) are running against their old RPA companions as part of Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance. The first to break ranks was Feliks Tsolakyan. A former Governor of Shirak marz (province), Tsolakyan was elected to the National Assembly in the 2017 parliamentary election under the open-list (“ratingayin”) system by collecting enough personal votes in the 11th electoral district (coterminous with Shirak marz). Though not officially an RPA party member, he was listed as an Independent on the Republican candidate list and given the 180th spot on their closed-list national roster in 2017. (For more background on Armenia’s electoral system, read more here.) On May 1, 2018, thirteen months after that election and following Sargsyan’s resignation, Tsolakyan was the only member of the RPA caucus to vote for Nikol Pashinyan to become Prime Minister (PM). That day was the first attempt to elect Pashinyan as PM; it failed 45-56. It was not until a week later, on May 8, that the Republican Party instructed some of its MPs to vote in favor of Pashinyan and the motion passed. It wasn’t until June that he officially left the Republican caucus. Tsolakyan was appointed Minister of Emergency Situations on October 3, 2018, for which he had to step down from his seat in parliament. The ministerial position had been vacated after executive appointees belonging to the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) were dismissed en masse, following a vote in parliament supported by those parties that could have delayed the calling of fresh elections. Those elections will take place on December 9 and Tsolakyan now occupies the 42nd spot on the closed-list national roster for Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance – and one of their ratingayin candidates for Shirak. He is still listed as having no party membership. Though the RPA technically ran as a party rather than an alliance in 2017, their candidate roster and, subsequently, their parliamentary caucus (or faction) included not only Independents but also members of other minor parties. Shirak Torosyan, a member of the Powerful Homeland Party (it sounds more normal in Armenian: Hzor Hayrenik), is one of them and our second defector. Torosyan has been getting elected off the RPA national list since 2007. In 2017, he was ranked #31. Born in Javakhk, his focus has been in the area of foreign relations. As mentioned, on May 8, the RPA designated several of its MPs to vote for Pashinyan to become Prime Minister.  Torosyan was not one of them but he did so anyway. To discipline him, the RPA considered removing him as MP. Instead, he left the RPA caucus on May 29 and kept his seat. He has now joined the My Step Alliance and is listed #43 on their national list,...

The Parties, the Platforms (Part II)

The Parties, the Platforms (Part II)

The election campaign for the upcoming snap parliamentary elections is in full swing. In this second installment, read about the main provisions and principles (translated from the original Armenian) from the campaign programs of the following political forces: Bright Armenia, National Progress, Sasna Tsrer, Country of Law, Prosperous Armenia, Citizen's Decision.

The Parties, the Platforms (Part I)

The Parties, the Platforms (Part I)

The election campaign for the upcoming snap parliamentary elections is in full swing. There are nine political parties and two coalition forces running for a seat in the country’s National Assembly. In a series of installments, EVN Report will present the main provisions and principles (translated from the original Armenian) from the campaign programs of those political forces.

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