By Anna Saghabalian
A veteran opposition member believes international organizations and embassies of western states in Armenia should request the local authorities to establish a new television channel that would propagandize democratic values to Armenian society ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
At a meeting with journalists on Wednesday Arshak Sadoyan also called on Armenia’s political parties and nongovernmental organizations to seek the establishment of such a channel that would further the democratic processes in the country by “broadcasting the sessions of the National Assembly and events connected with the government and political parties.”
This failing, Sadoyan suggests that international organizations should hire at least one hour of airtime on a television channel with a nationwide coverage to “advocate democratic values before the presidential elections and enable opposition politicians to present their views.”
The veteran oppositionist, who fared poorly in the last parliamentary elections, is confident that the Armenian authorities will not reject this request if international organizations get involved in the process “officially and financially”.
Another oppositionist, Hrant Khachatrian, who leads the opposition Union for Constitutional Rights (SIM), suggests picking the single opposition candidate for the presidential race using a western technique. He believes the primaries, which are widely used in some western democracies, will help choose the worthiest candidate from the opposition for next year’s presidential election.
Khachatrian admits that the process will requires additional time and effort, as well as much more financial resources, but says it will prove worthwhile in the final analysis.
“My vision is that first an opinion independent of the political conjuncture and different financial sources should be formed, and this opinion will have its weight in society,” Khachatrian said vaguely, without giving any details of the proposed measure.