During 2012 parliamentary elections, Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun Party participated as an opposition force. The main goal declared by the latter was complete change of power.
ARF-Dashnaktsutyun as Opposition
“We are coming with the idea of complete change of power. Not only must we remove the authorities but also change the system that gives birth and maintains these authorities in order to make for a complete change of power”, Armen Rustamyan had announced during the public rally in 2012.
Apart from “complete change of power”, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun had proposed a full package of economic and social reforms.
In particular, according to the program, the average pension in Armenia would make 63.000AMD, the state budget would increase by three times, and the GDP would double. They also promised to create 200.000 workplaces.
Let us see which part of this program has been realized by using the data from the National Statistical Service. Thus, according to NSS data, the average pension in Armenia is 40.440, the state budget has increased by only 1.3 times in 2012-2015, the GDP in the same period has increased 1.8 times, and unemployment rate has increased by 1.2 times.
The party’s election program also included provisions on making vocational and higher education free in some fields. “In accordance with the requirements of the economy, employment market and science, the vocational and higher education, as well as preschools and public schools will be completely free of charge”, the election program said.
However, we learned from the RA Ministry of Education and Science that primary, secondary and higher vocational programs do not have specialties that have been allocated completely free places since 2012.
ARF-Dashnaktsutyun as Part of Government
It turns out that being part of government and leading the RA Ministry of Education and Science, ARF- Dashnaktsutyun has not realized even its own election program.
ARF-Dashnaktsutyun finally refused from its idea of “complete change of power when it started to support the Republican Party during Constitutional amendments in 2015, and two months later a political cooperation agreement was signed between them.
As a result, ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Party received 3 ministerial portfolios out of 18. Those were RA Ministries of Education and Science, Territorial Administration and Development, Economy, as well as two regional governor positions. ARF explained its cooperation with the Republican Party of Armenia by its desire to bring the new Constitution to life and realize its election program.
Thus, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun was not able to fulfill its campaign promises neither as an opposition party nor as part of government.