Free Democrats (Armenia)

Free Democrats (Armenian: Ազատ դեմոկրատներ, Azat demokratner) is an Armenian liberal, Pro-European party.[5] It was founded in 2011 by Khachatur Kokobelyan.

Free Democrats

Ազատ դեմոկրատներ
LeaderKhachatur Kokobelyan
FoundedMay 22, 2011 (2011-05-22)
HeadquartersYerevan, Armenia
IdeologyLiberalism[1]
Pro-Europeanism[2]
Pro-Western
Anti-EAEU[3][4]
Political positionCentre
Slogan"We can"
National Assembly
0 / 132
Website
http://www.fdp.am/

HistoryEdit

In the 2017 Armenian parliamentary election it failed to meet the threshold of 5%.[6] Khachatur Kokobelyan was the first on the party list, Hrant Bagratyan (former Prime Minister of Armenia) was the second and Prime Minister candidate of the party.

Prior to the 2018 Armenian parliamentary election, the Free Democrats formed a political alliance known as the We Alliance with the Hanrapetutyun Party, another pro-Western and pro-European party in Armenia. During the election campaign, the Free Democrats advocated that Armenia should withdraw its membership from the Eurasian Union and pursue closer relations with the European Union.[7] The party also advocated for visa-free travel for Armenian citizens to the EU's Schengen Area. The Alliance received 2.00% of the votes. As this was lower than the 5% minimum threshold required, the We Alliance of Hanrapetutyn and Free Democrats failed to gain any representation in the Armenian parliament.

In November 2019, the party hosted American Ambassador to Armenia Lynne M. Tracy at the parties headquarters in Yerevan, where a range of issues were discussed.[8]

IdeologyEdit

The Free Democrats believe in establishing a more democratic Armenia, including developing a stronger civil society, a liberal market economy, greater protection of the environment and integrating Armenia into the European Union. The party firmly believes that Armenia's future is connected with Europe.[9]

Party leader Khachatur Kokobelyan, had previously submitted a draft resolution calling for Armenia's Eurasian Union membership to be terminated. Kokobelyan stated that, "After joining the Eurasian Union, Armenia has faced greater problems, for example, in its relations with the EU, than it has received dividends. I am confident that we do not need this organization. After leaving it, Armenia will have alternatives."[10]

In addition, the Free Democrats believe in strengthening Armenia's democracy, promoting human rights and equality, the rule of law and support for civil society. In terms of economics, the party advocates for a strong liberal market economy and believes that by following the European path of development and standards, Armenia will achieve greater prosperity and security.[11]

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