In Armenia

The ARF-Dashnakstutyun’s policy priorities in Armenia are:

a) Constitutional reform to ensure the division of powers, added local self-government and the formation of a functioning national security council, which should include representatives of the large opposition parties represented in the national assembly;

b) Political reforms, in particular in the electoral system to ensure free and fair elections and a greater role for political parties;

c) Anti-corruption measures, including the formation of an independent anti-corruption body;

d) Economic policy with a clear social orientation;

e) Anti-trust policy and guarantees for free economic competition;

f) Entrenchment in the Constitution the right of all Armenians, regardless of their place of residence, to become citizens of Armenia (Achieved in 2007).

One of the main pillars of ARF-Dashnaktsutyun policy regarding Armenia’s internal affairs has been and continues to be the prevention of polarization in society on social, economic and political grounds. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has played and continues to play an important role in developing a political culture where authorities are accountable to the public and where the opposition is effective, active and involved.

The 2007 parliamentary elections were the third parliamentary elections the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun participated in. In the 1999 elections, the ARF garnered 84232 votes; in the 2003 elections it gained 136270 votes, and in the 2007 elections its support vote increased to 177192, 13.1% of the popular vote. Of the 122 candidates on the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun list 28 (23%) were women and 10 (8%) were non-party members. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun ran a campaign based on an electoral platform promoting social justice, increased pensions and minimum wages to be attained through the fight against corruption and shadow economy, as well as on economic growth based on a concerted effort to increase export oriented manufacturing. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun faction in the National Assembly has 16 members (three are women), out of a total 131 members.

In the 2008 presidential elections the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun had its own candidate; ARF Bureau member and then Deputy Speaker of the ROA National Assembly Vahan Hovhannesyan was the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun candidate. With 100966 votes, he was the third runner-up.

In order to overcome, through the unity of forces, the crisis facing the country following the presidential elections and the threats to the independence and security of the two Armenian states, and with the aim of making coordinated reforms, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun agreed with President-elect Serzh Sargsyan’s proposal to join in a the new governing coalition with the Republican Party of Armenia, the Prosperous Armenia Party and the Country of Law Party. As a result, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs were ARF members. In the National Assembly, one of the two Deputy Speakers, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Chairman of the Committee on Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs were also ARF members. ARF members were appointed as head of a regional administration, also as Deputy Ministers at the Ministries of Urban Planning, Regional Government and Development, Environmental Protection as well as Communication and Transportation.

On April 27, 2009, siting “insurmountable disagreements on matters of principle [having] emerged with respect to the direction of the foreign policy,” The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun announced the cessation of the its participation in the political coalition. All the ARF appointed ministers, deputy ministers and the head of the regional administration resigned. The ARF members also resigned from the leadership positions they held in the National Assembly as part of the coalition agreement. Consequently, the parliamentary majority asked the ARF to continue heading the parliament’s standing committees on Foreign Relations (Armen Rustamyan) and on Defense, National Security and Internal Affairs (Hrayr Karapetyan).

On October 12, 2009, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun declared that it ‘is steadfast in its struggle to ensure the failure of the ratification of the [recently signed Armenia-Turkey] protocols. For that objective, the Dashnaktsutyun will use all political and constitutional means all the way to regime change, if necessary.”

On October 23, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun unveiled a set of guidlines dealing with issues as varied as reforms in socio-economic, political, and electoral systems, as well as the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, Armenia-Turkey relations and genocide recognition. These changes are to ensure the pursuit of a national agenda for Armenia to persevere, survive and develop.

On February 18, 2011, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun launched the “Public movement for the defense of electoral right.” The aim of the movement is “to establish the authority of the people through the realization of the electoral right.” The movement will have a comprehensive set of legal, political and organizational activities, which are divided to three main phases: pre-election, election day and post-election. In parallel to these, the necessary atmosphere will be created for the removal of the vicious system by which the authorities self-perpetuate themselves.