Hrazdan Barometer: February 12 city vote important for May parliamentary election

Hrazdan Barometer: February 12 city vote important for May parliamentary election

Photolure

Sasun Mikayelyan

The official campaign of the mayoral elections in Hrazdan, Kotayk province, scheduled for February 12, launched on Wednesday. Residents of Hrazdan will have to choose between the candidates of the ruling Republican Party (RPA) and the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC).

RPA member Aram Danielyan, the incumbent mayor of Hrazdan and Sasun Mikayelyan, ANC member and former lawmaker, have presented their bids to contest the vote. A few days ago, Hovhannes Prtavyan, advisor to Hrazdan mayor and RPA member withdrew his candidacy.

Mikayelyan was arrested in the wake of the 2008 post-election riots and later was imprisoned for eight years after being convicted of “illegally possessing weapons and organizing mass disturbances.” Mikayelyan, after spending three years in jail, was released under an amnesty in May 2011.

Danielyan has been the mayor of Hrazdan since 2002.

Political analysts believe that the Hrazdan mayoral elections will have an impact on the Parliamentary elections in May.

Political analyst Yervand Bozoyan told ArmeniaNow that if the candidate of the ruling RPA fails in the mayoral elections in Hrazdan as happened in Ijevan’s mayoral elections, then it would have a moral-psychological influence on the authorities.

“People see that election bribes and falsifications of elections no longer help the authorities win. Distrust towards the authorities and trust towards the opposition appear in this case,” Bozoyan says.

At the mayoral elections of Ijevan in November 5,044 people voted for candidate of Prosperous Armenia Party Vardan Ghalumyan and 3,406 people for incumbent mayor, republican Varuzhan Nersisyan.

The population of Hrazdan (45 kilometers from Yerevan) is about 65,000, with about 44,500 voters, however, almost 40 percent of the electorate is absent from the town now.