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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The “velvet revolution” in Armenia: opposition hit motorists

Prime Minister of Armenia on April 17 with the support of 77 deputies of the National Assembly was its former President Serzh Sargsyan. In response, the opposition representative Nikol Pashinyan announced the beginning of a parliamentary Republic in the “velvet revolution”. About 5 thousand of his supporters besieged the state authorities and blocked the main roads of Yerevan.

photo: a frame from the video

On the morning of April 17, Yerevan was completely paralyzed. Opponents of the nomination of ex-President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan Prime Minister of a parliamentary Republic blocked all the main thoroughfares of the city either with their bodies or barricades of garbage cans and other scrap materials. Rebelled against the will of the ruling elite surrounded the city hall, the Main Department of internal security and operational investigation Department of the Ministry of Finance of Armenia, Central Bank, General Prosecutor’s office, foreign Ministry and state revenue Committee. However, to get inside the buildings failed, as the doors were closed.

The opposition are unable to get to the Parliament. There in the early morning pulled several hundred police, reinforced by armored cars and other special vehicles. The deputies, who were to make a historic decision, sneaked into the building under cover of night and at the appointed hour, voted for the pivot of its political system. In the end, Sargsyan became Prime Minister.

However, the leader out on the street radicals Nikol Pashinyan said that the Prime Minister and his loyal deputies can stay in your Parliament all you want, still they will no longer rule the country. According to him, the third Republic began with the velvet revolution.

Despite this, Pashinyan was not joined by his allies on the block “EFC”. Moreover, on the evening of 16 April, the leaders of the “Light of Armenia” Edmon Marukyan and “Republic” Aram Sargsyan, who, together with “Civil contract” in addition to the end of 2016 created the block, came to the camp of the protesters only to inspect the use of force against the opposition. According to them, it was necessary to rise during the parliamentary elections, not now when the ruling “Republican party” has decided to enjoy the fruits of his victory. In April 2017, we will remind, “EFC” got 9 seats in the National Assembly of Armenia and recognized the vote as legitimate. After this so-called “street opposition” disappointed with their leaders. It is believed that if elections were decided to be held in March 2018 unit could not get into Parliament. In this regard, among the opposition there are rumors that Pashinyan decided to use the unwillingness of the Armenians to see their Prime Minister Sargsyan to regain popularity, to become the leader of the radical opposition and to get rid of his unpopular allies in the “Tree”.

Anyway, by the middle of April 17, police detained about 60 people, but all of them are not accused of rebellion or unconstitutional activities, and administrative offences. Security forces generally tried to avoid conflict, but absolutely no collisions, of course, has not done. In particular, the opposition blocked the bridge of the Victory with a few dozen cars abandoned in the middle of engineering design. Police said that this bridge would collapse, and opponents Sargsyan said that it is their country and they decide that it is right.

Often in a fight with the opposition to get involved, not law enforcement, and drivers who could not pass on their business. Wherever the police was too little was seen of this encounter. The rebels accused their compatriots of political apathy and betrayal, and they in turn blamed their infantilism and unwillingness to work.

Will be done in Armenia “velvet revolution, “MK” has learned from Alexander Markarov, Director of Armenian branch of the CIS Institute:

– That the country began the “velvet revolution”, the opposition should have a single leader. Pashinyan for such a role is not suitable, as the unit is “EFC”, with which it passed in Parliament in 2017, scored only 7% of the vote. Much more popular in the country is the party “prosperous Armenia”, which is then gathered 29%, but it is configured on a constructive dialogue with the ruling “Republican party”. Pashinyan claims to be a radical leader that is attractive to young people. However, at the peak of the protests, he was able to gather under the banners of no more than 5 thousand people.

Pashinian was not even supported by its allies on the block. Instead, he is forced to rely on marginal leaders who periodically appear in the media, but have no serious support in the community.

In turn, the “Republican party” won the last parliamentary elections and now wants to appoint its leader as Prime Minister. This is a normal international practice. It so happened that the head of the party is President. But he already stated that his reign will be only a transitional period. In the next parliamentary electionsRepublican party” needs to show new leaders who will lead Armenia forward.

Based on the experience of previous protests, we can assume that current performance will continue for about a week. Over time people will accept the new Prime Minister and go home. Of course, this does not solve the problem of confidence in the authorities, but the threat of social upheaval has passed.


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