Political forces that self-declared to be an opposition before and during parliamentarian elections chose a campaign strategy of blemishing LGBT persons and religious minorities with a hope that this would bring them votes. “They forgot that they are vilifying fellow countrymen and are therefore losing votes”, is stated in Pink Armenia human rights organization’s statement.
“The Republican Party of Armenia, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Prosperous Armenia Party and those close to them started manipulating and abusing the violence in Shurnukh and brought the topic of LGBT persons, the scandalous incident at the police station, the Christian LGBT forum, the meeting of a trans person with the Minister of Education and other similar topics into the public agenda. They also organized demonstrations, press conferences, Facebook live talks against LGBT persons and even created a fake LGBT organization allegedly supporting the “My Step” Alliance supposedly to mar “My Step”.
The Republican Party chose to focus its campaign on vilifying homosexuals to which it dedicated a major part of its resources. It, however, ended up receiving only 4,7% of votes and was left out of the parliament.
Republican Eduard Sharmazanov, who had earlier justified the violence against LGBT persons in Shurnukh village, was personally engaged in spreading rumours about the working meeting between a trans person and the Minister of Education. He was also leading initiatives to make legislative change against LGBT persons and was overall obsessed with abusing the LGBT topic in his political thoughts. Sharmazanov received 1663 votes in his voter district scoring 3rd among the running candidates.
Quote from Eduard Sharmazanov: “We should legally ban preaching homosexuality.”
Menua Harutyunyan, the media “mastermind” of the Republicans, who was live on social media encouraging those who were beating LGBT persons, received 353 votes during the parliamentary elections and scored 3rd among the candidates in his voting district.
Quote from Menua Harutyunyan’s campaign speech: “Shurnukh is against hatching male-whores.”
Gevorg Petrosyan of the Prosperous Armenia Party, who would use the platforms of both the Parliament and Facebook for vilifying LGBT persons and calling for their expelling from Armenia, received 656 votes, scoring 4th in his voting district.
Quote from Gevorg Petrosyan’s Facebook post: “Let’s evict fagots, religious sects and those defending them.”
Aragats Akhoyan of the Prosperous Armenia party, who before the elections would organize demonstrations, press conferences against LGBT persons and was promising to beat them up to death, received 675 votes, scoring 4th among the 7 candidates running for the Parliament in his voting district.
Quote from Aragats Akhoyan’s press conference: “We will wipe them out.”
Marina Khachatryan who left Yerkir Tsirani Party and joined Prosperous Armenia to run for the Parliament took on the same path as the Prosperous Armenia party and received 140 votes scoring 7th in her voting district. It is noteworthy, that during the incident when she was manhandled in Yerevan Municipality for having brought sewer waste into the council hearing, she had more than 140 defenders and supporters, and lost their support when she made a Facebook live speech and expressed a wish to beat LGBT up with a shovel.
Quote from Marina Khachatryan’s Facebook speech: “I am ready to fight against them with a shovel, they deserve a blow of a shovel.”
We have been stating many times that political parties should stop manipulating the LGBT topic in their political gambling. We hope that from now on these political figures and forces will have learned the lesson that by creating a fake agenda they will not be able to draw the support of people and had better try to attract votes through other promises, such as protecting human rights in Armenia,” states Pink Armenia.