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Thomas de Waal @Tom_deWaal
, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Some thoughts on events in #Armenia and Serzh Sargsyan's resignation
1.First of all, I’m glad to have been proved wrong about the Armenian people, their readiness to protest and demand change! In Armenia a month ago the only way I saw change coming was from above.
2. Armenia a classic case of a society so unfree public was alienated and angry, but free enough to let them protest. Not Russia. Note also there is no systemic opposition in Armenia. This is a young urban crowd, who don’t belong to parties, are barely represented in parliament.
3. Armenia is a parliamentary republic again, Republican Party dinosaurs in parliament bigger obstacle to change than Serzh. As in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan problem is a fusion of high politics and big business. Parliamentary elections thus badly needed.
4. This is a systemic problem going back 20+ years in Armenia, when corrupt people and Karabakh veterans started taking over the economy, ignoring the public’s needs. It is much bigger than one man, Serzh Sargsyan. Constitutional changes just a trigger.
5. Fear of instability for sure a big reason Sargsyan decided not to tough it out. Armenia is a small country in a state of suspended conflict with Azerbaijan. No Yanukovych he. Expect tough bargaining over govt. but also consensus on NK, foreign policy.
6. Also quite plausible, as Armenian officials told me in March, that Sargsyan did not really want the job of PM, would have preferred to remain behind the scenes and let another take it. Maybe the system needed him to take it more than even he did.
7. Armenia’s geopolitical fundamentals unlikely to change. Armenia needs Russian alliance. Serzh already moved to diversify foreign policy with CEPA deal, inviting Diaspora into economy. So not a protest against Russia per se - though certainly against Russian economy monopolies.
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