On November 28, during the meeting with the journalists, RPA Deputy Chairman Armen Ashotyan stated that currently the Republican Party of Armenia is the most democratic one in terms of the degree of internal democracy in the party.
The classical definition of democracy suggests type of political system where governance is executed by the people, directly or by the representatives elected by them. Hence, free and fair elections are one of the main pillars of democracy.
During the 16 the Congress of RPA, Serzh Sargsyan was again elected as chairman of the party. Perhaps this election would not seem strange if not for the circumstance that there were no other candidates. From the democracy perspective, it is already absurd to hold elections with one candidate only, and it reminds us of presidential elections in North Korea.
If there is no political alternative, holding elections becomes merely a formality. Meanwhile, in contrast to the RPA, there were two candidates during elections of the Board Chairman of the Civil Contract Party, namely Sasun Mikayelyan and Ararat Mirzoyan.
During the same 16th Congress of the RPA, the party was supposed to elect members of its executive body. There were 21 candidates, and party Chairman Serzh Sargsyan suggested making all the 21 candidates members of the executive body (instead of the previous 19). So, here again, the election was just a formality.
Change of Power
Periodic change of power is also important for effective democracy. In case of the Republican Party of Armenia, there is no change of power at all. Moreover, the executive body is composed of almost the same people as previously. Only 3 of the previous 19 members did not make it to the newly formed body. This means that there are only 5 newly elected members, i.e. ¼ of 21-member body. And certainly this does not qualify as change of power.
If we compare this picture to the last election of the Bureau of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party, we can see that only one of the previous 11 members was reelected. That is, in contrast to the RPA, there is clear change of power in the ARF.
Hence, the claims according to which the Republican Party of Armenia is the most democratic one in terms of the degree of internal democracy in the party, are a mere lie, to say the least.