Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, I’m Asbed Bedrossian. In this Conversations on Groong episode Asbed Kotchikian, Hovik Manucharyan, and I will be talking about the Armenian parliamentary elections coming up on June 20th.
This episode was recorded on Monday, June 7, 2021.
Different political forces in Armenia have coalesced and are geared up to participate in what could be the most competitive elections in the country’s recent 25-year history. We’re interviewing representatives of the various contending parties in the elections to discuss and understand not only their strategy in the elections, but also how they plan to meet the immediate challenges facing Armenia in the post-war period. One of those parties, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun has had a long history of operating both as a political organization in the diasporas as well as political party in Armenia.
Today we’re talking with the ARF Dashnaktsutyun’s representative
Giro Manoyan, who has been a member of the ARF-D Bureau since 2015. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, he moved to Montreal, Canada in 1976 and attended Concordia University, where he studied Political Science. He has served as the Executive Secretary of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, as well as Editor in Chief of the Horizon Armenian Weekly. In 1999 he moved to Yerevan and has served as the Executive Director of the Bureau of the ARF-Dashnaksutyun, in charge of the Armenian Cause, Hai Tahd Central Committee.
Let’s start with the past couple of years in Armenian politics, but 2020 in particular.
● The ARF initially supported Pashinyan’s candidacy for PM in May 2018 but soon after it was excluded from the National Assembly following the December 2018 elections, it became increasingly critical of the government. What are your thoughts about the state of the Armenian government and Armenia since Pashinyan and My Step came to power in 2018?
From the beginning of the war in September 2020, the ARF, along with the global Armenian nation, mobilized its resources for the defense of Artsakh
● Do you think that this war was unavoidable? What were the mistakes that led us into a war we could not win? Once Azerbaijan attacked, was it a foregone outcome that it would end up the way it did?
On June 20th there will be early parliamentary elections in Armenia and the ARF has forged an electoral alliance with former president Robert Kocharyan and the Hayastan Dashinq. The latest MPG and IRI polls show that the Civil Contract party is essentially tied with the Hayastan Dashinq.
● What is your assessment of the way the upcoming elections are shaping up?
● A major issue in the upcoming elections is the issue of post-war Armenia’s policies. What are the ARF’s priorities for the new government after the elections, and how would they be achieved?
The ARF is one of the major Armenian organizations spanning our global community from the republic, to the middle east, Europe and the Americas.
● Are you satisfied with the level of Armenia-Diaspora relations? What’s your vision for where these relations could be, or should be?
● What is the role of the Diaspora?
There have been recent frictions inside the ARF, and very uncharacteristically this internal rift has spilled outside the party. There have been Bureau statements about the US West Central Committee, and US West statements about the Bureau.
● What is the root-cause of this rift?
● Is this the right time for the ARF to be having these internal divisions?
● How do you see the party reconciling and recovering from this, and moving forward as a united organization?
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. We hope it was helpful in your understanding of some of the issues involved. We look forward to your feedback, including your suggestions for Conversation topics in the future. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
ARF, Dashnaktsutyun, ARF Bureau, ARF Western USA, Armenia, Artsakh, Armenian Diaspora, United States, USA, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, 44-day war, Elections, Borders, Self Determination, Asbed Kotchikian, Asbed Bedrossian,