Dorin Cimpoeşu, Armenia: The Inedited Pages of Recent History (2002–2018)

The ruling elite of Armenia, strongly attached to its Soviet recent past, began the long and difficult transition towards a democratic parliamentary regime. The democratic reforms advanced quite difficultly, as old totalitarian mentalities represented a real obstacle in their path. At the same time, however, a civil society began to develop, and Western democratic values started to permeate Armenia. This process changed the balance of power in society, generating in the early 2000s a strong confrontation between representatives of the neo-communist nomenklatura, on one side, and those of democratic forces and civil society, on the other. The authoritarian regimes of presidents Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan held Armenia captive until 2018. Former President Sargsyan’s latest attempt to extend his power, following Putin’s model, by taking over the position of the prime minister, caused a huge wave of discontent. At the head of those social movements was the publicist and politician Nikol Pashinyan, under whose leadership a real “Velvet Revolution” took place in Armenia, which led to the ousting of the Republican Party, to early parliamentary elections and, finally, to a truly democratic political regime, open to reforms and to the modernization of the country

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