SWOT the party: sister party ANC for the win in Armenia

The Republic of Armenia celebrated its 25th anniversary of independence this year amid demonstrations against corruption and the incumbent government. Sister-party Armenian National Congress (ANC) is at the forefront of the demand for change. With national elections 158 days away, VVD International was happy to assist them with the development of a new campaign strategy.

National elections in Armenia are scheduled for spring 2017. They’ll be organised according to a new electoral system, based on the result of a Constitutional referendum that was held in Armenia on 6 December 2015. The proposed amendments to the Constitution included a new district system for the electoral lists and a decrease of the number of seats in Parliament (from 131 seats to 101 minimum seats). The last change comes with an additional proportional electoral system which provides a chance to hold a second round of elections if, during the first round, no political party has a clear majority. Only the two parties that receive the most votes in the first round, can take part in the runoff. 

The political opposition in Armenia, including ANC, campaigned hard against the proposed changes, because according to them, these changes are meant to keep the current President of Armenia and his political party de facto indefinitely in power. Since the opposition lost the referendum, ANC thought it prudent that the party adapts its campaign strategy to the new system, with the aim to win.

With 158 days until E-day, the party leadership of ANC gathered in Dilijan to set the strategic goal(s) for the elections and to take the first steps in setting up a new campaign. Kamran Ullah, trainer for VVD International, and Mark van den Anker, VVD campaign coach, joined the enthusiastic and dedicated ANC leadership to facilitate the process and share experiences from diverse successful VVD campaigns.

One of the first steps a political party should follow to develop a good campaign strategy, is to form an understanding of what the party needs. For this, any political party should do a proper SWOT-analysis and repeat this before every election. SWOT stands for internal Strengths & Weaknesses, and external Opportunities & Threats. The SWOT-analysis is a good tool to both investigate yourself and the outside world (such as threats the new electoral system might offer). An extensive SWOT-analysis, under the guidance of Kamran and Mark, provided ANC with a clear view on the strengths and the needs of the party. Together with the strategic goals of ANC for the upcoming elections and a weekend of good in-depth discussions on election topics, the party now has all the tools to take the next steps in setting up its campaign.

VVD International would like to thank its partner, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation South-Caucasus, for the administrative support. We look forward to continue working with ANC, with the aim to win in Armenia!