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Pashinyan's Gambit or Armenia's Failed Revolution

  • ABADJIAN, VAHRAM
  • Published : 2020.06.15

Abstract

The article is a critical examination of the political developments in Armenia since the 'Velvet Revolution' of April-May 2018, when, on the wave of massive protests against the ruling regime, new young forces came to power raising amongst broad segments of population enormous enthusiasm and hopes about radical reforms that would lead to profound transformations in the political and socio-economic spheres. It contains a thorough analysis of underlying political processes in the country in an attempt to answer a number of topical questions, so important to get a deeper understanding of the situation in Armenia and in the South Caucasus region. Based on the analysis of the new authorities' performance against the acknowledged benchmarks and standards of democracy consolidation, such as: separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, good governance, transitional justice the author comes to the conclusion that they failed to achieve any breakthrough in the above-mentioned fields. On the contrary, as demonstrated by concrete examples, what occurred in Armenia was not a revolution but a mere regime change under the leadership of Prime Minister Pashinyan, who gradually has concentrated in his hands executive, legislative, and quasi-totality of the judicial branch of power.