By Ara Toranian
Yes, of course, the protest movement initiated almost a month ago by the opposition alliance is mobilizing people. Probably around 15,000 people participated in the May 9 demonstration, the high point of this agitation. The organizers counted at least the double, of course.
Be that as it may, the alliance of the forces of the old regime, set to music by the ARF of Armenia, does not overturn the table. Its mobilization capacity is at the same level as that which preceded the June 2021 legislative elections, which peaked on June 18 with the meeting in Republic Square with former President Robert Kocharyan, with around 40,000 participants.
The day before Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had hardly managed to do much better. This did not prevent him from largely winning the elections of June 21, 2021 and therefore from possessing the democratic legitimacy to govern. Demographically, the country is just the city center of Yerevan, haven of “Armenia which is doing well,” the one that votes largely for Kocharyan, the one that adapted best to the oligarchy and corruption and whose terraces were always full during the 44-day war…
The “legitimacy” of Pashinyan, the forces of the old regime have constantly clashed since the ceasefire agreement of November 9, 2020, a defeat from which they hoped to come back in force. They are doing it again today by demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister. As if he had not already challenged his mandate, less than ten months ago, with the triggering of new elections which themselves took place a year and a half after the vote of December 9, 2018! Would our protesters want legislative elections every three months? Do they not understand or do they pretend to ignore that the political cards have been reshuffled, that the people have decided, democratically, as it was necessary to do after the defeat for which they are largely responsible?
How can the opposition fail to take the slightest critical look at its own experience of power, and not accept the verdict of the ballot box, and to renew itself? Taking care not to appear too much at the head of the processions, Serge Sargsyan, and even worse Robert Kocharyan, had certainly never distinguished themselves by their democratic brilliance from the time when they exercised unchallenged power. But their current methods unfortunately do not show any paradigm shift.