At the end of September, “Armenia-Diaspora” 6th Pan-Armenian Conference was held in Yerevan. According to official data, about 1600 people participated in the conference. Representatives from Armenia and Armenian diaspora from 70 countries of the world (from South African Republic to Myanmar and unrecognized Abkhazia) were among the participants.
Looking through the list of conference participants, we can conclude that Armenia, where according to Serzh Sargsyan “pluralism is not oppressed”, is quite far from being real.
There were 235 people in the list of participants from the Republic of Armenia. Here we can find directors of a number of foundations, and heads of agencies, university rectors, political analysts, representatives of such media which mainly work in the Baghramyan 26 “basin”, as well as a number of deputies of the RA National Assembly, overwhelming majority from the Republican Party of Armenia.
The Union of Informed Citizens NGO was informed by the RA Ministry of Diaspora that “the Speaker of the RA National Assembly, the three deputies of the Speaker, as well as heads of all parliamentary factions, heads of all standing committees and their deputies were invited. Those members of the RPA Executive Body who are National Assembly deputies were also invited”. In short, it was an intragovernmental convocation.
In fact, from among 6 parliamentary parties, only the Republican Party was granted the “honor” to be represented in the conference with the full list of deputies who are members of its Executive Body.
Meanwhile, even heads of parties in parliament (e.g. Edmon Marukyan or Aram Sargsyan) were not invited to the conference. In other words, the government has explicitly favored a particular political party.
This is a clear proof of the circumstance that the government is creating preferential conditions for the ruling Republican Party (compared to other parliamentary parties).
It should be noted that the Executive Body of the Republican Party is merely a narrow intraparty organizational structure. Under such circumstances, distinguishing its member deputies from other deputies of the National Assembly means either increasing the role of the RPA Executive Body, or decreasing the role of “Armenia-Diaspora”, making it “Republican Party-Diaspora conference.
Only Pathos and Soviet Traditions
During the conference, Serzh Sargsyan talked about the necessity of “not favoring the opinion of the majority”, about cooperation, and other pathetic things. He stated that “our power is in our pluralism”, in enhancing the political dialogue, the political parties and civil society. He talked about “objective reality”, the importance of introducing “the real life in Armenia to our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora irrespective of their political and party affiliation”.
Nevertheless, those representatives of the civil society and political parties who could give the conference participants an alternative idea were not represented at the conference. The function of providing information was reserved solely to the representatives of the Republican Party and the ruling elit