Did the Armenian People Win the Battle or the War?

On April 29, the people of Armenia won!

The three parliamentary parties agreed to support the “people’s choice,” Nikol Pashinyan, for Prime Minister. The fourth, the ruling party, has promised not to object to it. 

On April 29, the people of Armenia won!

The three parliamentary parties agreed to support the “people’s choice,” Nikol Pashinyan, for Prime Minister. The fourth, the ruling party, has promised not to object to it. 

Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was mistaken,” Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan said after leaving his post on the fifth day of an unprecedented popular protest against his regime, lead by Nikol Pashinyan.  
 
Sargsyan added, “The movement in the streets is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand. I wish our country peace, harmony and common sense.” 
 
“We are in Euphoria. We took down a powerful man,” said one of the protestors. He then added, “We are back in charge of our self-rule and have regained our national pride and integrity.” 

But this is bittersweet. What was won? A battle or the war?

According to popular belief, the current regime, led by monopolist oligarchs and privileged elite, will make it extremely difficult for Pashinyan to achieve the reforms he wishes. The people also believe that even if Pashinyan becomes Prime Minister, the ruling party, with an absolute majority, will set up constitutional traps and find ways to force his resignation. Triggering a vote of non-confidence would force the prime minister’s resignation and result in a new political crisis. 
 
Unfortunately, according to constitutional experts, the new constitution has no means of solving the current political challenges and will fail in solving the constitutional chaos, resulting from the actions of the majority party. 
 
To solve the crisis and move forward, the parties must keep in mind how the nation got here. What were the mistakes made?  Who was responsible for it?
 
Serzh Sargsyan admitted that he was mistaken, but, as a responsible statesman, and caring for his country and the nation, he succumbed to the will of the people and resigned. 
 
But the crisis was not only because of Sargsyan’s own mistakes. The privileged political and business oligarchs have as much responsibility and played an equal role in helping trigger this self-motivated, popular revolution against the regime. 
 
The people instinctively know that once the movement is transferred to the parliament, the majority party will derail their revolution of love.  March 1, 2008 is very fresh in the people’s minds. Pashinyan raised another example of discontent when he spoke about the price of 1000M3 of gas purchased from Russia at $155, reaching the people at $320-$330.

In short, this revolution was not against Serzh Sargsyan alone; it was against the regime represented by him. If the parliamentary elections are called right away, within the next 60 days, Armenia will have a chance of maintaining its credibility as a democratic independent nation, regaining its self-rule, national pride, and integrity. 
 
“The ruling party must acknowledge the will of the people”, insists Pashinyan.  As leaders of the country, the ruling coalition have the shared responsibility to help develop an equitable society and genuine democracy at home. 
 
The entire nation worldwide is yearning for a homeland where the social contract between the ruler and the ruled operates by the rule of law. A proud and happy civil society can reverse the emigration process. People returning home will share the benefits of a true democratic country where people feel that they are equal in front of law and share opportunities equally.  

In short, this revolution was not against Serzh Sargsyan alone; it was against the regime represented by him. If the parliamentary elections are called right away, within the next 60 days, Armenia will have a chance of maintaining its credibility as a democratic independent nation, regaining its self-rule, national pride, and integrity. 

“The ruling party must acknowledge the will of the people”, insists Pashinyan.  As leaders of the country, the ruling coalition have the shared responsibility to help develop an equitable society and genuine democracy at home. 
 
The entire nation worldwide is yearning for a homeland where the social contract between the ruler and the ruled operates by the rule of law. A proud and happy civil society can reverse the emigration process. People returning home will share the benefits of a true democratic country where people feel that they are equal in front of law and share opportunities equally.  

The interest of the state and its people is best served under these circumstances, if the country holds a fair and just election, immediately.

5 comments
  1. Mobs deciding for all?

    So there won't be any more elections in Armenia. Just street mobs deciding for all? I wish for law and order in Armenia. I don't know Mr. Pashinyan, he may be a wonderful person, but I don't like lynch mobs, and I don't like the disgraceful way that Mr. Serzh Sargsyan was dealt with. 

    1. Mob Rule

      Dear Demiraiakian,                                                                                                   

      Every Armenian who believes in democracy would like to have a government which is elected legally. But like previous post-independence Armenian governments, Sargsyan's government was elected through bribes, intimidation, and fraud. The 58 Republican Party fat cat MPs who rejected Pashinyan are interested only in perpetuating the undemocratic reign of their party.

      When people see that the future will be a repeat of the lawless and corrupt past–as far as elections go–they have every right to rise and protest the sham. Citizens of Armenia are supporting Pashinyan because the reformer is expressing their thoughts and feelings. That's the reason the streets are clotted with 100,000 people. This is not mob rule. It's the legitimate outburst of a patient people who have seen their country brought to its knees by a mobocracy headed by Sargsyan and Kocharian.

      I'd like to know what do you think Armenians should have done faced by the underhanded shenanigans of Sargsyan. Were you willing to see Sargsyan illegally extend his reign for another ten years? What alternative would you suggest?

      1. Alternative to mob rule

        A legal recall would have been more in line with an orderly society.

        100,000 people should not decide for 2.9 million. 

    2. Street Politics a Legitimate Option

      Mr. Demiraiakian,

      No one has suggested that there should be no more elections in Armenia and mobs should decide who runs the country.

      The demonstrators–"street mobs"–according to you, have the right to demand Sargsyan's resignation and the turfing of his cohorts because:

      1.Sargsyan's election (twice) as president was fraudulent. Likewise the election of most of his party MPs.
      2. Sargsyan's attempt to continue his ten-year reign through illegal means (trying to grab presidential powers while he was prime minister).
      3. Sargsyan's predecessor–Kocharyan–was also elected illegally. Do you see a pattern? Corrupt, powerful, and wealthy individuals and their fellow oligarchs have had a chokehold of Armenia's governance for more than two decades. There's no difference between Kocharyan and Sargsyan. They are the "capos" of the two biggest oligarch groups.
      4. When after several elections and thirty years citizens conclude that governance will be permanently business as usual as one "capo" succeeds another "godfather" through bribes, intimidation, and fraud, citizens have the right–nay, the responsibility–to bring down the permanent prime minister and president. Armenians are not ready for "president for life" shenanigans.

      The ideal motivating the demonstrators is this: to bring down the corrupt establishment; to hold legal elections; to elect politicians who will work wholeheartedly for the welfare of the electorate rather than line their already fat pockets.

      I hope that Pashinyan and his supporters succeed in their admirable dream. If the recent political tumult results in the election of a representative government, there would be no "street mobs" demanding the downfall of the government. And if "street mobs" try to intimidate a legally elected government, the populace, the Diaspora, the media, and the international public opinion would dismiss the street demonstrators as cranks. And when the authorities curb the demonstrators, the public will back the government action.

      What happened in Armenia is unprecedented in a number of ways. Allow me to cite just one: although Armenia is besieged, although Armenia is regularly threatened by war, the citizens of Armenia still took the chance and demanded the ouster of Sargsyan. They were that desperate. They knew Baku might take advantage of the crisis and attack…but they still poured into the streets. They couldn't take IT anymore. 

      To coin a phrase, "politics is a dirty game". There will always be rats. But there's a difference between a whole government wallowing in mud and a handful of corrupt politicians. Degree and gradations are important. It's not constructive to say that no matter what happens eventually corruption will set it. We have to hope. We have to dream and to take a chance. It's no time for cynicism. We have to take the plunge because the alternative is the permanent Republic of Mafia Armenia. 

  2. All deciding against mob

    Dear Edward,

    I think you were writing in reverse.
    Until now it was the mob deciding for all.

    Now, it's all deciding against the mob, as it should be. Throughout the revolution I wondered: but there must be some small group of people somewhere who would mount a counter-demonstration in favor of the regime.  Could it be that the mob is in power solely by stealing and buying votes?  Is there no one out there who genuinely supports them?  The answer is a deafening no.

    It is a deafening cry from liberated hearts that have transformed from not believing that freedom is possible to not believing that they believed otherwise a mere three weeks ago.
    In the era of rise of strong men, rose little Armenia.
    You beat an Armenian child, you waken an Armenian nation.

    Donald Trump brought the worst people out and the worst out of people.  Nikol Pashinyan brought the best people out and the best out of people.

    The chains of fear are broken.
    A revolution of love could only be imagined and executed by dzour Armenians.

    World, brace yourself for the rise of the Word.

    Berge

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