The ARF has been priming this for more than a year both inside and outside Armenia with propaganda that this cannot be a "fair" election, while demonizing Sargsyan - "anyone but Serge."
With a demon as the focal point, the stage was set for polarization and taking the cause to the streets, since no political or legal process can be trusted. Conveniently, Raffi was a wasting asset who was on his way to being a wannabe has-been, but still had some unspent value as a public face with fewer negatives than LTP. So they are doing a rerun of 2008. RH is a prop for both ANM and ARF (whose American branch has a soft spot for their junior member and his family), plus one or more external powers that want a very weak Armenia in 2015 (can you think of any?). The external powers have already achieved their goal. All that remains is for the internal malcontents grab some power, positions and money (which they call justice for all, not self-aggrandizement). Of course, even as they are digging an hole for themselves and the nation, they still believe that they will magically make a better Armenia. But there's nothing in their track record to justify such a leap of faith.
Wasn't RH the Foreign Minister in Feb. 1992 who incompetently bungled Khojaly so that the Az.-perpetrated massacre is still being blamed on the Armenians and then spent the past 20 years globetrotting with recycle slogans, doing nothing to correct this botch up except grandstanding and mimicking Gandhi for a while? Isn't this the ARF that has been unable to do anything about anything in decades, here or in the diaspora, except collect money to perpetuate itself and now is willing to be in political alliance with its arch-enemy the ANM that banished them? Isn't this the ANM which are peas in the pod with the very oligarchs they rail against, for whom the only thing bad about monopoly money is that they aren't getting their "fair' share? Politics makes strange bed fellows, but this is beyond pathetic. The flailing of the incompetent in the hands of the amoral, self-serving and sanctimonious - not pretty sight.
So it seems the analysts may have been right all along. They said that all the world is feudal and oligarchic - don't let the public pageants fool you. The people are props in their hands. The "springs" and "colored revolutions" too are in essence oligarchic power grabs played out as street theater for the wretched masses thirsting for their share of patronage when "their guy" seizes power, packaged in worn slogans as dignity and justice for all. It doesn't matter how their guy wins, just so he wins and the crumbs trickle down. Few will see that until it is too late. Unfortunately, it is always, already too late. There a few limits on the extravagant self-pity of the self-righteous in this quest or to the sacrifices they will make, of their own and the national interest, once they are entranced by the glimmer of reaching the promised land. Even if they doubt they will make it, they are still ready to sacrifice, if not for themselves for their children, they say. That sacrifice becomes sacred in itself, as the wretched, filled with self-loathing at their helplessness, are swept up in the ennobling romance of being bigger than life, making history. When played out against the perceived aloofness of those in power who were unwilling or unable to rein in the company they keep or to use the power entrusted to them to protect the people from those who bully them, the stage is set for this kind of pathos.
Credits: Eric Hoffer, who had this nailed 50 years ago.