The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is confident about winning enough votes to be represented in Yerevan’s new municipal council, a leader of the opposition party said on Friday.
“I think we have conducted a quite successful election campaign,” Aghvan Vartanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “I think we have made the right emphases and I can feel a daily dynamic growth [in the party’s popularity,] especially in the last 15 days.”
“I am confident that Dashnaktsutyun will get many more votes in Yerevan this time around,” Vartanian said.
According to the official results of the last Yerevan elections held four years ago, Dashnaktsutyun garnered only 4.7 percent of the vote, failing to win any seats in the city’s Council of Elders. Like other opposition groups, it rejected the results, accusing the governing Republican Party of buying votes, abusing its administrative resources and bullying voters.
Vartanian acknowledged that his party’s performance at the time was indeed poor. He attributed it to the fact that the May 2009 elections took place just weeks after Dashnaktsutyun pulled out of President Serzh Sarkisian’s coalition government in protest against his policy of rapprochement with Turkey.
“Unfortunately we did not regroup, work in a more organized manner and assess those elections much more seriously. The result should be attributed to that,” he said.
“This time we joined the race with the full potential of our organization in Armenia,” Vartanian added, arguing that all Dashnaktsutyun leaders have been personally involved in the current campaign.
The elections of the Yerevan council, which appoints the city’s mayor, will take place on Sunday under the system of proportional representation. The parties contesting them need to win at least 6 percent of the vote in order to have any council seats.