Today 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 to 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.
The interest of the state and its people is best served under these circumstances, if the country holds a fair and just election, immediately.
· Nikol Pashinyan was the editor of the liberal paper Armenian Times.
· He went into hiding after the March 1, 2008 events.
· In an interview with Radio Europe on October 16, 2008, Pashinyan insisted that democratic revolution is the only way to effect change in Armenia.
· Pashinyan was jailed on July 1, 2009 and released in 2011.
· On December 9, 2013, Pashinyan, with other six politicians and activists, started a new political group called Civil Contract.
· Pashinyan is the leader of the new popular movement and has been since the beginning of April 2018. He is now the people’s choice for Prime Minister.