After nearly two weeks of widespread anti-government protests, Armenia celebrated the resignation of President turned Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. But amid the festivities, fresh rounds of civil demonstrations have been emerging across the country after talks between the incumbent Republican Party and the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan broke down last week.
Pashinyan, who led the demonstrations against Sargsyan, called on Armenians to continue with peaceful protests until the ruling powers switched hands from the incumbent Republican Party. Namely, into his. The opposition leader has become a crowd-endorsed candidate for the position of Prime Minister during the past week, and has since put his hand up for the job.
Stepan Grigoryan, chair of the board of Yerevan-based Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, has described the situation as a “velvet revolution” – a reference to the peaceful demonstrations in the former Czechoslovakia that ended the communist party’s 41-year rule.
While Armenia has achieved sizable political victory with Sargsyan’s resignation, Grigoryan says Pashinyan’s appointment as Prime Minister and parliamentary snap elections are the key next steps to facilitating real change within the country.
Parliament is due to meet on May 1 to elect a new Prime Minister.
“What is important is to have the opposition leader in the Prime Minister’s position. Only in this case can our society believe that we will have a chance to organize normal elections,” Grigoryan said.
He added, the last election took place a year ago with the Republican Party using falsifications, administrative resources and bribery to secure their ruling status.
“Today’s parliament is not a political parliament, the Republican Party has a 60 percent mandate, from this 60 percent, only five or six Republican Party members are politicians. Some of them are oligarchs, some of them are corruption persons,” Grigoryan said.
Hromadske spoke with chair of the board of Yerevan-based Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Stepan Grigoryan, about Armenia’s political future.