Triumpher Pashinyan unwittingly "usurps" power

Mikhail Simonov, exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza
Triumpher Pashinyan unwittingly "usurps" power

On the second day after the parliamentary elections were held in Armenia, it finally became clear that the former Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) didn't make it into the highest legislative body of the country. It fell short of reaching the minimum threshold of 5% for the parties by 0.3%. Although one moment it seemed that the "Republicans" still clear the "height".

It was almost the main intrigue of the voting, since according to all the polls and forecasts, the majority planned to vote for new Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan's My Step bloc. The electoral threshold was also supposed to surrender to well-known oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan's Prosperous Armenia, which made an inter-party agreement with Pashinyan shortly before the elections, and "someone else," among which most experts named Edmond Marukian's Armenian Renaissance party. And that's exactly what happened: 'My step' gained 70.43%, 'Prosperous Armenia' - 8.27%, 'Armenian Renaissance' - 6.37%. Thus, only forces staging the velvet revolution entered the National Assembly of the seventh convocation. Apart from the additional four mandates that, according to the Constitution, should be given to the communities of national minorities - Russians, Yezidis, Kurds, Assyrians.

Now Nikol Pashinyan's power is legitimate. The only thing that may not please the triumpher is the low activity of the population. Even despite his call on Facebook. According to the Armenian CEC, the turnout was 48.63%. That is, a smaller part of the population having the right to vote went to the polls. It will not affect the legitimacy of the new government. The lower limit of electoral activity has been abolished in Armenia a long time ago. But, as they say, the spoons have been found but it left a bad aftertaste.

Probably, it is not by chance that local experts began to argue on some Armenian websites that the 48.63% announced by the CEC can actually be considered as 70%. They used such arguments as a big number of people which left Armenia, but still registered in the republic. This can be accepted. Although the new authorities repeatedly boasted of the fact that the outflow of the population had stopped and the reverse process has begun - but it is a separate topic. Another argument is that young people with voting rights are passive and do not always exercise this right. This argument can be answered with the question: "So what?" There are even more strange explanations, the essence of which is difficult to comprehend, while understanding of the arithmetic and counting methodology is even more difficult - in any case, I was taught such mathematics neither at school nor at the university.

'Renaissance party,' consisted of Pashinyan's revolution comrades-in-arms, immediately declared itself an opposition. Its opposition activities are limited to stressing the need  to strengthen Armenia's pro-Western vector, but not to the detriment of relations with Russia, and not its positions in the pro-Russian alliances - the CSTO, the EEU.

'Prosperous Armenia' also announced that it would oppose the majority when necessary. But when it will happen is an open question, of course, and, probably, depending on the political union signed by Tsarukyan and Pashinyan.

As for Pashinyan's My step, it also includes active revolutionaries, which were marching along with him across Armenia ... They said that it will be difficult to distinguish the new parliamentary majority's policy from the former majority's policy, i.e. the majority of the parliament of the previous convocation - the Republican Party. In matters of foreign policy it is impossible. Probably, the 'Pashinyans' may seem more emotional at first due to less political experience, but as you know experience comes with time. There should be differences in internal policy. Moreover, they should be essential, otherwise it will be unclear why they started the revolution at all.

Today, the politically active part of the Armenian society rejoices - the Republicans, hateful for 10 years of their rule, have finally left the power, and now there are people, who will do everything as it should be, and no one will disturb them.

On the one hand, it is so. But on the other hand, the power, with no serious counterbalance, sooner or later goes out of control. Neighboring Georgia is a clear example. And a triple one. Initially, Eduard Shevardnadze's Union of Citizens played "his own game," but quickly ran into the "revolution of roses." Then Mikhail Saakashvili's National Movement, having put hands of everything they could, wend out the window. And now 'Georgian Dream', having a constitutional majority, received such an alarming call at the presidential election, that it should immediately wake up and start fulfilling promises and public orders.

Pashinyan will form his government. He will have a controlled parliament. The opposition only at the street level. It is difficult to say how active it will be. Honestly speaking, it is difficult to imagine respectable Republicans, who just yesterday were holding power with both hands, standing on Republican Square or Freedom Square with banners and megaphones. The party was created in the conditions when the power moved towards it itself, or rather to certain persons, who subsequently formed the backbone of the party. It seems that the majority of Republicans does not know what interparty struggle in the full sense of the word means, and especially what "being in opposition" means. It is an open question whether they will want to return to a comfortable life through hardships on the street, as well as what they are going to do next, will they manage to survive as a party, or will bite the dust?

Support for the remaining losers of the elections is so scanty, with the exception of the Dashnaks, that their survival is questionable. The radical Sasna Tsrer party, who set out on a political path, repelling the population with their aforementioned distinctive feature, stand somewhat apart. There are also political forces who, for their own reasons, abstained from participating in the elections.

For all non-parliamentary parties, and even parliamentary parties, under certain circumstances, a low population turnout will always be a trump card in the attack on Pashinyan. It's not strong, not fit into the definition of 'honest fight', but in each case Pashinyan will be recalled that the revolution is a revolution, but the majority of the population did not take part in the voting, as if not two-thirds of the country or more listened to his calls and made the Republican leader to resign from the post of prime minister.

Having received a controlled parliament and having formed "his" government, Pashinyan, of course, understands the responsibility he assumes. It turns out that if semethig happens, he could not blame "self-willed deputies" - and Armenia is a parliamentary republic now - or lament the prevalence of party interests in the government. Since Sunday, Nikol Pashinyan is responsible for everything that happens in Armenia and with Armenia. The revolutionary period has passed. The electoral one - too. Everyday life began. Difficult political routine in a troubled country with a population tired of waiting for success.