The Five Main Candidates Were Absent From The Televised Debate

Gayane Asryan


Before the June 20 elections, the topic of political debate becomes relevant again. Public Television has sent an invitation to the leaders of the political forces to participate in the televised debate.

Debates with the participation of the leading faces are planned in two stages, on June 16 the representatives of the relatively new registered political forces were aired and on June 17 the old and active players in the competition.

Although Nikol Pashinyan, the candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the “Civil Contract” party, was at the party’s final rally on June 17 at the Republic Square, he immediately presented himself to the debate.

The prime ministerial candidates of five political forces were not present at the televised debate: “Armenia” Alliance, ANC, PAP, “I have honor,” and “Free Homeland.”

On the topic of Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s debate with Nikol Pashinyan, the ANC clarified that “the image of a debate between Ter-Petrosyan, the symbol of our country’s victory, and Nikol Pashinyan, the symbol of Armenia’s defeat and humiliation will be a cause for a new image of humiliation.”

ANC Deputy Chairman Levon Zurabyan expressed his readiness to debate with Pashinyan.

One of the main rivals, Robert Kocharyan, also refused the debate with the participation of the first persons. On this occasion, the head of the office of the second president Victor Soghomonyan said that “it is a shame to be in the same place with Nikol Pashinyan, let alone to debate him about something.”

Kocharyan’s interview with Public TV also did not take place. Kocharyan was ready for an outgoing interview, but taking into account the technical problems, Public TV invited him to a studio conversation.

This interview will not take place again, because, according to Soghomonyan, “the existence of any preconditions, in this case, is already problematic.”

During the previous elections, the issue of televised debate was discussed a lot, according to the already changed Electoral Code, during the pre-election campaign elections, the debates became mandatory during the pre-election elections of 2021.

The topic, format and rules of pre-election debates are decided by the Public Television of Armenia. Pre-election debates are broadcast live.

The primary candidates of the parties (party bloc) electoral lists should be invited for at least one of the debates.


In the run-up to these elections, rules of conduct have been developed for debates on Public TV. Before participating in the debate programs, the representatives of the political forces get acquainted and give their written consent.

According to one of the points, “candidates may not use insulting words (including sexual ones), racial insults, as well as, according to Article 9, Part 1 of the RA Law on Audiovisual Media, it is prohibited to spread calls for actions prohibited by law.”

The author of the call is warned about the violation live, and in case of a second call, the live broadcast is stopped.

The moderators of the debate may intervene and interrupt any candidate who does not follow the above rules.

Gayane Asryan

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