Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution” The Next Chapter
Armenia’s “Velvet revolution” has opened a new page in the country’s history. Fed up with corrupt governance and dire socio-economic conditions, Armenians took to the streets. Their steely determination led to the resignation of veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister. The biggest challenge that Pashinyan faces is meeting the huge expectations of society. His ability to deliver remains constrained by a need to secure a popular mandate through the ballot box, and by Armenia’s complicated military and strategic relationship with its neighbours. While Pashinyan has opted to maintain continuity on foreign and security related issues, his domestic agenda is very ambitious. However, with the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) continuing to have strong influence over the key branches of power, bringing real change will not be easy. Furthermore, the network of Armenia’s corrupt elites and oligarchs that have plundered the state since independence will not give up without a fight. Hence to what extent Pashinyan will be able to succeed, remains to be seen.
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