One week is left till the end of the summer holiday of the Armenian political forces and, apparently, it is going to be quite tough.
Shortly the nomination of candidates for president will start but nothing is known about the intentions of potential candidates. In particular, the second president Robert Kocharyan has said nothing about his plans yet, but judging by the intensive flow of information, a campaign has already been launched. Groups of have appeared referring to Kocharyan as the savior of the nation who claim that during Kocharyan’s office the Armenian economy prospered.
Different media outlets under Serzh Sargsyan’s influence are criticizing Kocharyan’s economic model and affirming that the “shadow” was formed during Kocharyan’s rule and he has “left” taking along his “shadow”.
This indicates a covert fight between Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharyan, though most people cannot see a difference between these two figures. In order to justify the competition, Sargsyan and Kocharyan need to point at a difference in favor of each of them.
Serzh Sargsyan’s political experts follow the geopolitical track of fight. They affirm that Sargsyan supports the Western path of development, while Kocharyan takes Armenia to Russian imperialism.
Kocharyan’s team which either does not want to enter into this quarrel or does not have arguments follows the other track – economic and social situation - where Kocharyan, at first sight, seems to have an obvious advantage, taking into account the currently critical situation.
Since publications playing down Kocharyan’s economic achievements appeared, Sargsyan’s team may have accepted the rules they propose though it has obvious advantages on the geopolitical path.
What will be the focus of the election campaign? What will be the priorities of candidates? Who will make concessions accepting someone else’s rules? This will determine not only the outcome of the election but also who will run in the election. If Serzh Sargsyan’s team fails to “prove” that they chose the “progressive” European way, and Kocharyan advocates the return to the Soviet Union, Sargsyan may have to abandon his intention to run. All teh more so if his team does not refuse to enter into economic debates with Kocharyan.
Otherwise, Kocharyan will have to work hard. He will have to state that he does not mind the European path, thus losing the difference between him and Sargsyan or he will have to prove that Russia is the most reliable partner.
Sargsyan and Kocharyan have very little time. They will have to voice their intentions very soon. Depending on who will manage to set the election race agenda the issue of the “joint nominee” will be decided. It is hardly possible that both Sargsyan and Kocharyan will stake all and will run both. They will rather compete before the election and then will support the one who will be stronger.