Armeniens »sammetsrevolution» 2018 och varför den dröjde så länge
Armenia’s Velvet Revolution - Why So Overdue? In early April 2018 Armenia completed the transition from semi-presidential rule to a parliamentary republic. Under the slogan ‘More power to the people’, the ruling Republican Party had paved the way for the incumbent president, Serzh Sargsyan, to continue in power, now as prime minister as his second and final term of presidency was drawing to an end. However, the ensuing events ended with popular protests, the ‘Velvet Revolution’, which forced Sargsyan and the Republicans out of office. The new administration, led by the former opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, has ousted several influential leaders and initiated an ambitious anti-corruption programme. Nonetheless, one significant issue remains: early elections that are supposed not only to reflect the prevailing political landscape in Armenia but also reform the country’s election laws. What triggered the spring 2018 uprising, when corruption and social discontent have been both well-known and prevalent in Armenia over the past two decades? This article offers insights into the background to the popular uprising, and the relation between Armenia and its large and influential diaspora, citing two main factors for the delay since independence in 1991 – the historical legacy of the perils of internal disunity, together with the effects of the unresolved Karabakh conflict. It concludes with some reflections on the way forward.
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