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Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. Today we are continuing our discussions with different representatives of the Armenian political opposition in the aftermath of the November 9 ceasefire agreement.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.
Following the trilateral Karabakh ceasefire of Nov 9, all major political forces in Armenia (except for the ruling party) condemned Nikol Pashinyan’s agreement to the deal. While the dissatisfaction with the agreement is widespread, the opposition is not entirely unified on what to do next.
We’ll talk with the leader of one of the 2 parliamentary opposition factions, Bright Armenia about his, and his party’s vision and subsequent actions to be taken by Armenia.
What is Bright Armenia’s vision for post November, Armenia? Listen to this podcast to find out.
Today we’re joined by:
Edmon Marukyan, who is an Armenian lawyer and Member of National Assembly. Edmon holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Jurisprudence from the Public Administration Academy of Armenia and the second one in Law (LL.M.) with concentration in International Human Rights Law from the University of Minnesota Law School. In December 2015, Marukyan established the Bright Armenia Political Party and in October 2016, Bright Armenia participated in local-self- government elections of Vanadzor and came in second after the ruling party. In December 2016, in cooperation with “Civic Contract” and “Republic” parties, “Bright Armenia” formed a political coalition named “Way Out” (or Yelq), electing Edmon Marukyan to lead the proportional list of the Coalition in parliamentary elections of April 2, 2017. The “Way Out” Coalition came in third out of four political powers forming the new Parliament. In the snap elections of December 2018, after the dissolution of parliament following the Velvet Revolution, in which 11 political powers took part, Bright Armenia Party, led by Marukyan came in third, taking 18 seats out of 132. Currently Edmon Marukyan leads the Bright Armenia Faction in the National Assembly of Armenia.
Bright Armenia’s position on the causes of the war as well as on the Nov. 9 ceasefire agreement.
Bright Armenia has not joined the movement of 17 political parties, called the Homeland Salvation Movement, that are publicly protesting in the streets. What are the party’s views and strategies that keep Bright Armenia on its separate path as an opposition party?
Nikol Pashinyan has characterized the opposition protests so far
as elitist and unrepresentative of society. Additionally, his team claims that
he still has significant support from the population at large, citing the
apparently large turnout during his march to Yerablur.
What is your assessment of Armenian voters’ support for Im
Qayl? How can anyone measure the level of support
that the PM, Vazken Manukyan or you yourself have?
What are the common denominators between your party and the 17 opposition parties? Are there any issues of contestation?
Media reports suggest that the government is trying to accelerate efforts to change the electoral code in Armenia, potentially in preparation for calling snap parliamentary elections (potentially without an “interim” period where the prime minister would resign). As a member of parliament are you aware of efforts to speed up changes to the electoral code? And what is your opinion on this strategy in general?
Where do you see Bright Armenia in Armenia’s political landscape and in general, what is your party’s vision for Armenia over the next 5-10 years?
That concludes this Conversation On Groong. 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. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Bright Armenia, Edmon Marukyan, Armenia, Artsakh, Karabakh, Opposition, Salvation of the Homeland, Nikol Pashinyan, National Assembly