Every time Nicole addresses people as “dear people”, I cringe. I don’t know if people understand or not that he is lying. To be beloved means that the speaker is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of that particular person (or persons).
And that’s why only one or two dozen people can be dear to one person: parents (grandparents), spouse, children, grandchildren (great-grandchildren), and one or two close friends. And the people can be respectable or not respectable. But since the important thing for the person clinging to the position of RA Prime Minister is not sincerity, but manipulating people, then almost everyone is “loved” by him. In the beginning, the masses of people who brought him to power were “lovable”. After the shameful defeat, the guerrilla groups he formed called “Guardians of the Revolution” remained “loved”. In the campaign for the June 2021 election, the people who attended his meetings were “loved” and voted for him. Now it is difficult to say how many people remained “loved”. perhaps the 28 percent who still, to one degree or another, trust him. But this does not prevent him from addressing everyone in the form of “dear people”.
Anyway, Nikol promised direct democracy to his “beloved people” in the spring and summer of 2018. Republic Square should also be the place of its implementation, the agora. Let me remind you, in the polis (city-states) of Ancient Greece, the agora was the people’s meeting, as well as the place of its holding, the commercial square in the center of the city. The reason for making such a promise by Nikol was the imitation of the democracy established by the former. Which was protested by all the conscious people who wanted to live in a real and not an imitation democracy. And the most active of them was the oppositionist Pashinyan, the editor of the opposition daily, a follower of the oppositionist Ter-Petrosyan since the fall of 2007, and an opposition member of the National Assembly since 2012. Said means
Surprisingly, it was done that way at first. for example, the gates blocking the National Assembly Park were removed. A number of other steps were taken that seemed to people to be real reforms. Then it should have turned out that their implementation was a fluke or, if it was serious, something to be done after the fact. And much more serious problems remained unchanged. In the self-proclaimed “bastion of democracy”, for example, the electoral rolls inherited from the past remained unchanged. The pro-Petrosyan opposition, which did not accept the results of the 2008 presidential election, talked about the existence of up to 250 thousand “dead souls”. Nothing was done to actually reform the Electoral Code either. In fact, due to the self-interest of the government, some minor changes were made anyway.
According to the mentioned law, for example, the HayaVote initiative must collect 50,000 signatures in order to present the legislative amendments it authored to the National Assembly for consideration. And if they fail in the National Assembly, then 300,000 signatures must be collected so that they are automatically put to the referendum. One of the Facebook users, Hrayr Kamendatyan compared the number of signatures needed for the referendum. It turns out that the number of signatures required for a referendum in the country described by foreigners as a “shining star of democracy” is 10.71% of the population (we are talking about 300 thousand). Whereas in typical democratic (Western) countries it is between 0.1% and 2.0% (rounded). It is clear that this is a legacy left to Nicole from her exes. But Nikol does not consider himself the founder of Armenian democracy. Therefore, the index required for direct democracy (agora) had to be changed.
I will try to help Nikol in the direction of the approval of the agora in terms of the referendum. Which implies the amendment of the Referendum Law before the completion of the “HayaVote” process. According to the current Electoral Code, overcoming the threshold of 5 percent of those who participated in the election is considered a passing threshold for the National Assembly. 1,278,656 voters took part in the June 20, 2021 National Assembly election, 5 percent of which is 64,070. Having collected the necessary number of signatures to overcome the electoral threshold (it would be 2.5% of eligible citizens), the initiative group should have the right to put the issue to a referendum. Taking into account the fact that the initiating party would have the right to do so if it entered the National Assembly under the name of a party. And the minority in the National Assembly should have the right to do so in case the legislative initiative was rejected three times by the majority. It would show how popular the given legislation is among voters. Which, at the same time, would confirm the existence of real democracy.
Of course, the HayaVote process poses a threat to Nikol’s government. And the government is trying to prevent it by all possible means. Why not try to ease its implementation with the necessary reforms? And I am not naive enough to assume that an extraordinary session of the National Assembly will be held tomorrow and the submitted proposal will be accepted. But I also realize that not doing it will be another evidence that the Republic of Armenia is not a democracy, but the rule of one person under its name. Which tends to turn into total tyranny.