Government, Political Parties
National Self-Determination, parliamentary elections, Liberal Democratic Party, PNM, parliamentary seat
Armenia’s constitution guarantees a multiparty political system, but the activities of political parties must not violate the constitution or the law. The Republican bloc, an alliance of six moderate nationalist parties led by the Pan-Armenian National Movement (PNM), won an overwhelming majority of seats in the parliamentary elections of 1995, thereby retaining the PNM’s dominant position in government. Other parties with representatives in the National Assembly are the Shamiram Women’s Party, the Communist Party of Armenia, the National Democratic Union, the Union for National Self-Determination, and the Liberal Democratic Party.
The PNM-led government barred nine opposition parties from participating in the parliamentary elections. Armenia’s leading opposition party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF; also known as Dashnaks, a shortened version of its name in Armenian), was officially suspended in December 1994. One ARF member who ran without official party backing nevertheless succeeded in winning a parliamentary seat. The ARF again became a legal party after the fall of President Levon Ter-Petrossian in February 1998.
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