The election campaign for the upcoming snap parliamentary elections is in full swing. There are eleven political parties and coalition/alliance of parties running for a seat in the country’s National Assembly.
Below we present the main provisions and principles (translated from the original Armenian) from the campaign programs of the following political forces: The Republican Party of Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the My Step Alliance.
Why Vote For Us
As a national conservative party, the Republican Party of Armenia is the political structure with the most experience in matters of Armenian statehood, thereby it has much to say and do in the life of our nation and state.
The political roots of the RPA (which go back to the 1960s), the influence of its leaders, the history of its ideology (the teachings of Garegen Njdeh) and at the same time, its relevance (conservatism), secure considerable moral-political capital for the party.
We know and have accepted our mistakes. There have been mistakes, shortcomings and omissions on our part but our actions have also been unjustly smeared. The price of a mistake in politics is loss of power. We have paid that price. But this should not also mean depriving the Armenian citizen of the opportunity to benefit from our knowledge and experience.
1. We are a national conservative party whose goals and actions aim to ensure the eternal existence of the nation and its statehood.
2. Having a powerful Armenian state is the only guarantee for the nation’s development and perseverance, the wellbeing of the citizen, the defense of our borders and our place in the international community.
3. The Armenian Apostolic Church is an inseparable part of Armenian identity, and a part of its unity.
4. The traditional Armenian family is the cornerstone of society.
5. The consolidation of the Diaspora’s potential to contribute to the empowerment of Armenian statehood, having repatriation as the main goal.
6. Pluralism of ideas, political freedoms, rule of law, equal opportunities and the freedom of thought, self expression and conscience have no alternative.
7. The voice of any citizen of Armenia should be heard. their criticism should be worthy of attention and respect.
We are the bearers of the Army-Nation Concept
The “Army Nation” [concept] is the guarantor of the security, steady and safe development of Armenia.
- Realization of a steady seven-year plan of modernization and replenishment of the military armament
- A marked improvement in the quality of military education
- Development of a science-based military-industrial complex
- Effective expansion of military-diplomatic and military-technical partnerships.
- The improvement of social security for officers
- Improving the quality of military service for recruits, connecting it to the future social status of the citizen
- Consistent reinforcement of the military reserve
- Rehabilitation and integration of disabled veterans
- Psychological and financial assistance to the families of deceased soldiers
There are issues where we will be uncompromising, Artsakh is the first and most important on the list. It is not only about the right to self determination of the people of Artsakh, it is about Armenia's security.
Only with a strong army, with powerful security arrangements, astute foreign policy, through becoming an army-nation will we be able to face these dangers.
Peace is essential to Armenia’s natural development, however, we are fundamentally opposed to the “territories for peace” formula. The solidification of this idea and more so its implementation will increase the probability of a large scale war.
Armenia and the World
We are often asked why we are worried when the new government is continuing our foreign policy course. It is symbolic that our opponents accepted that our policy was wise and the appropriate direction for Armenia and that their approach, namely demanding to leave EEU and CSTO, was irresponsible adventurism.
Continue strategic allied relations with Russia, the framework agreement with EU, expand cooperation with the U.S., neighborly relations with Iran and Georgia, deepen dialogue with China, have considerable roles in CSTO and EEU and the presidency in the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.The formula to success is: knowledge, a skilled team, wisdom, persistent work.
Economic development should be inclusive, giving each individual the opportunity to work and do business. The liberation from all kinds of monopolies is a necessary but insufficient condition to this end.
To have a competitive economy, our priority has been and remains the promotion of exports, increasing labor productivity through employing contemporary technologies and the encouragement of small and medium businesses .
The most important resource of Armenian statehood is the individual who, with his physical, intellectual and moral potential, is aware of his responsibility towards the nation and the state.
The optimization of the state and business apparatus should be paired with the creation of new opportunities for the people and not the belief in the survival of the fittest.
The educational system is our biggest challenge. It is in need of fundamental improvements. The development of human capital is a priority for Armenia and this assumes the reprioritization of expenditure and investment projects.
Health is also a priority for the development of human capital. Parallel to the optimization of expenditure in the health system, it is necessary to promptly start discussions about universal healthcare. This will allow all the citizens of the Republic to enjoy a package of services similar to those offered to state officials.
The social security system should afford people to live dignified lives in old age and offer new possibilities of retaining and improving the workforce in this ever changing world.
The ARF campaign platform is anchored on the merits of morality and justice. It is directed at the future and our attention is on the youth.
Our aim is to build a powerful and just country for free citizens.
The people’s movement that started in April closed the old page and today we are faced with the prerogative of building tomorrow’s motherland.
The ARF speaks from the position of the preservation of national values, unyielding development and social justice.
- Our priorities for economic development are
- progressive economic development
- social inclusiveness and justice
- stable development
A person can be truly free if his/her economic well being is guaranteed and if there are social guarantees at work that protect his/her right to free self-expression and decision-making. Since independence, Armenia’s economic policy has been based on a self-regulating neoliberal ideology and the propositions of a “traditional economy.” The government had freed itself of responsibility towards its citizens, leaving the fittest to win in a wild race with no concern for the fate of those “defeated.” Unfortunately, in today’s political elite, this approach is still dominant.
- Guarantee the fair distribution of the profit from economic development among all members of society.
- Create opportunities for people to practice their right to have dignified work/employment.
- Exclude the scenario where a person working night and day is unable to provide for his/her family's basic needs.
- Implement a progressive taxation policy based on the principle of “more for more and less for less.”
- The progressive taxation policy should also be implemented in regards to real estate and land ownership taxation.
- Do not separate the development of agriculture from the development of the village. Aid for the development of agriculture should be given directly to the person working the land and not the carrier or supply organizations.
- Stop the marginalization of citizens who are either unable to find employment or are not competitive in the job market. The government should implement an active policy to bring them into the job market.
- Guarantee dignified living for the elderly.
- Create a health insurance policy that sees that every citizen has access to medical care.
- Curb migration, make sure that every male who has served in the army has the opportunity to own a house and have employment.
- Help individuals with special needs become full members of society. Guarantee their right to education, employment, and accessibility.
- Benefit and assist in the creation of young families. Socioeconomic, housing, and employment hardships have led to late marriages and low reproductive rates and this has brought the country to the brink of demographic disaster.
- Carry out an active repatriation program encouraging people who have migrated from Armenia and Diasporans to return before their generations assimilate and stop being Armenian.
The government should support entrepreneurs, guarantee fair competition and clear rules. The government should be ready to share the risks equally in collaboration with the private sector, lead in sectors where the risks are higher, the revenues are lower or where there is a lack of investment.
- Create fair conditions for entrepreneurship.
- Share the risk and offer affordable financing to organizations that operate within a priority sector that have strategic and social significance.
- Aid local production. Many local producers are unable to compete with foreign production and the import business due to unfair pricing policies.
- Step-up the fight against monopolies and unfair competition.
- Lighten the administrative load, understand that administrative checks should target unscrupulous businesses and not target honest entrepreneurs.
- Take contemporary and anticipated needs of the economy into consideration when drawing up the public educational plan.
- Reconsider the prices set by monopolist businesses.
- Guarantee the public nature and transparency of state agencies.
- Ensure that public servants and their families are rewarded in a way that sustains a commensurate way of life. Salaries should be such that public servants would refrain from abuse of office and looking for additional income.
- Deploy a new recruitment system that would be in line with the required standards of competency and public trust. Employ young people in state structures.
- Implement a system that aims to disclose or prevent conflicts of interest, punish unlawfulness and exclude the intertwining of business, politics and bureaucracy.
- Create an independent anti-corruption body with the participation of members from the opposition and civil society.
We strive to create a free, independent and united Armenia.
We ourselves should guarantee the security of our country with the understanding that only through being prepared for war can the threat of war be prevented. Announcements of one-sided concessions only make the threat of war more realistic.
Armenia should have an independent foreign policy, one that stems from national interests and is based on the vision for the state’s strategic development. We are pro Armenian and Armenocentric.
- Reinforce the military-political, economic, financial, social, cultural and educational partnership of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh.
- Continue working towards the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh.
- Work towards bringing Artsakh back as an integral part of negotiations that concern its future.
- Help establish a military industry in line with the logic of the army-nation concept, and based on local scientific and technological intellectual potential.
- Encourage the expansion of the volunteer-professional military partnership. There should always be professional military personnel alongside mandatory service.
- Increase salaries of officers and contractors in the armed forces to correspond to the requirements of decent living.
- Make the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the demand for reparations an inseparable part of Armenia’s foreign policy agenda.
- Establish relations with Georgia that are based on friendship and mutual respect for one anther’s national interests. Friendly relations with Georgia will have a beneficial effect on the protection of the rights of Javakhk Armenians and Armenians of Georgia.
- The Armenian state is the guarantor of the realization of the national goals of not only Armenians living in Armenia but of Armenians throughout the world; this should be a leading principle of the Republic of Armenia’s foreign policy.
The My Step Alliance is comprised of the political team that led the non-violent, velvet, people’s revolution and the forces that aided that political team.
The political team of the alliance has so far fulfilled all of its promises.
- The removal of Serzh Sargsyan and his team from governance.
- The elimination of electoral fraud and the establishment of the practice of electing leadership solely through the expression of the people’s free will.
- An uncompromising fight against corruption.
- The elimination of artificial economic monopolies.
- The elimination of the institute of the privileged and the establishment of the equality of all before the law.
- The organization of snap parliamentary elections.
Over the next five years our actions will be aimed at realizing an economic revolution. We are resolved to recreate Armenia as a country of high industrial, technological and ecological achievement.
To this end, it is essential:
- To constantly improve the security status of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh and reach the international recognition of the right to self determination of the people of Artsakh.
- To encourage work and bring in investments. To overcome poverty through education and employment.
- To ensure the supremacy of the law.
- To ensure the progressive improvement of living standards.
- To ensure progressive efficiency in state expenditure.
The My Step Alliance will continue to make serious efforts to establish new social, political, legal relations among citizens of the Republic of Armenia. This will be based on the imperative that all people are equal before the law, the full protection of human rights and the implementation of these rights, equality between men and women, the national and state identity of the Armenian nation, the preservation and development of independence and sovereignty, equipping the people of Armenia with levers that unequivocally grant the people power to be the bearers of power in the country. This will be based on the imperative to reaffirm Armenia as the best and most desirable place for the residence and development of the Armenian nation.
The state’s provisions for the security of its citizens includes:
- protection from external aggression,
- protection against illegalities, including corruption, political persecution, harassment, rights abuses,
- protection from natural and man-made catastrophes,
- protection from epidemics and diseases,
- reasonable use of natural resources, wildlife conservation, restoration of damage caused by the aforementioned.
State provisions for the wellbeing of its citizens includes:
- encouragement of work, entrepreneurship, creativity, and the necessity of undertaking social responsibility,
- encouraging education and access to quality education and healthcare,
- economic competition, possibility to exercise free economic activity,
- the full application of universal freedoms,
- satisfaction of spiritual, cultural needs and the development of a creative environment,
- protection of the rights and dignity of people with special needs and ensuring their social integration,
- protection and enlargement of green areas and the human-centric organization of urban environments.
In politics, this assumes an undisputed competitive and free electoral system, when the responsibilities for the country’s administration are assigned through the expression of the people’s free will. This creates equal opportunities for candidates aspiring to become a part of the country’s governance.
The state is obligated to create conditions for the formation of a gross national product and the employment of the maximum number of people with business skills in the field of economic activity. This is also a important precondition for poverty reduction.
With regard to the Republic of Armenia’s national security, it is essential to not only improve the combat readiness of the armed forces, the capabilities of the special services and the diplomatic corps, but also increase the population of Armenia. The Armenian population should double in number in the coming 20 years.
In domestic politics, the most important issues facing Armenia is the establishment of irreversible democracy.
Politics should be public, the public should be made aware, to the maximum possible extent, of the course of political processes, their context and details. This an important component of democracy, which will be impossible to achieve without freedom of expression, media and the Internet.
Laws should become the axis around which the new tradition of regulating individual and group relations are formed.
An independent judiciary has a key role to play in protecting social-political, economic competitiveness, property and other rights.
The Karabakh Issue
The regulation of the Karabakh issue will only be possible through the restoration of the status of Nagorno Karabakh as a full-fledged side to the negotiations processes. No option for the regulation of the issue can be considered de jure acceptable without the consent of Nagorno Karabakh.
The international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an important assurance for Armenia’s security. The process towards the recognition of the Genocide should continue until it reaches full international recognition.