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Supporters of newly installed Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stand on top of a vehicle as they protest in Republic Square, Yerevan, Armenia, May 2, 2018 (AP photo by Sergei Grits).

Armenia’s New Leaders Face Pressure to Govern, Not Simply Rule

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On May 8, Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was chosen by lawmakers to become the next prime minister, culminating three weeks of massive popular demonstrations against the country’s opaque and corrupt political establishment. The initial catalyst for the demonstrations was former President Serzh Sargsyan’s effort to hold onto power by assuming the premiership, having already revised the constitution to strengthen the prime minister’s executive powers. With expectations for change now running high, Pashinyan has his work cut out for him if he is to retain the support of the diverse coalition that brought him to power. In an email interview, Richard Giragosian, director of the Regional Studies Center, an independent think tank in Yerevan, Armenia, discusses Pashinyan’s supporters, the opposition’s policy differences with Sargsyan’s Republican Party, and the role of Armenia’s civil society in ensuring that the goals of the popular mobilization are not abandoned.

World Politics Review: What political and demographic constituencies do Nikol Pashinyan and the other prominent political opposition parties in Armenia represent, compared to the ruling Republican Party? ...

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