Analyst: 2012 has taken politics from street to parliament

Analyst: 2012  has taken politics from street to parliament

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Political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan considers last May parliamentary’s elections to be the most important political event in Armenia in the ending year as, according to him, it managed to take politics “from the street to parliament”.

At a Monday press conference summing up the political results of 2012, Iskandaryan, who heads the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, said that the parliamentary elections have changed the political landscape of the country, as for the first time in the history of independent Armenia all major political forces gained representation in the National Assembly.

Remarkably, the opposition Armenian National Congress, which had staged regular rallies and demonstrations before the May vote, has not held a single major public rally since being elected to the legislature in May.

The analyst thinks that the decision of Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukyan not to contest the upcoming presidential election and actually to withdraw his support to any other potential candidate has also introduced changes in the political landscape of Armenia in 2012.

“At this moment I don’t see any real competitors to the ruling Republican Party, and I don’t think any such competitor will emerge in the next month or so. Thus, the outcome of the presidential election seems a foregone conclusion,” said Iskandaryan, predicting that incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan will be reelected in the February 18 ballot.

The analyst added that while there might be more “street activity” during the upcoming election season, the main politics from now on will evolve in parliament and in the media.

Speaking about Armenia’s foreign policies in 2012, Iskandaryan said that the government has continued to be traditionally reactive and cautious in their policies, acting in accordance with the spirit of so-called complementarism.

The expert sees no serious change in the Karabakh conflict resolution despite the whole Safarov Affair that has marred the process since it became a serious point of contention on August 31.

“In general, no significant change is likely to take place in the conflict settlement in the near future,” predicted the analyst.