Photo credit: Armenian Lawyer’s Association
By Liza Lenz Jedwab, Assistant Program Officer with CIPE’s Europe Eurasia team, and Monica Nates, Program Assistant with CIPE
Until recently, democratic reform in Armenia seemed unlikely, with oligarchs maintaining a tight grip on the country’s economy and political agenda. For years, observers such as Freedom House had classified Armenia as a semi-consolidated authoritarian state. However, through massive street protests that erupted in spring 2018, the Armenian public pushed back on decades of systemic corruption and shifted the country’s outlook. In a country of 3 million citizens, a quarter million Armenians flooded the streets of the capital and other cities, pushing President Serzh Sargsian to resign as prime minister, with opposition leader Nikol Pashinian elected in his place.
Pashinian quickly put fighting corruption at the center of his policy platform. That decision was validated by Parliamentary elections in December that gave his party 70 percent of the vote. Read More...