“I address you for the last time as a head of state. Nikol Pashinyan was right. I made a mistake. In this situation, there are several solutions, but I will not resort to any of them. That’s not my thing. I abandon the post of the head of our country,” Serzh Sargsyan said as quoted by his press service.
Nikol Pashinyan, the opposition leader, was released earlier today after he had been detained on Sunday after failing to reach any deal in brief talks with Sargsyan, who called for a dialogue between the government and opposition.
The Duran’s Frank Sellers covered the events in Armenia’s capital Yerevan:
Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in all major cities across Armenia as the outgoing president, Serzh Sargsyan, is elected Prime Minister by the Parliament. The move is largely perceived as a power grab, as Sargsyan will largely retain the same powers that he held during his two terms in the Presidential capacity. This move takes place just after Armenia’s April 9th transition from a presidential system to that of a prime ministerial one.
Western backed Non governmental organizations (NGOs) have been heavily involved in post Soviet Armenia’s education system, community and charity works. These NGOs have been selling the public on the perception that Armenia’s economic woes are directly the result of their corrupt, Russia friendly government, as well as Russia itself.
Hence, the concept that Sargsyan’s government has only made matters for the population worse is the grievance upon which much of the unrest hinges. With Sargsyan seen as being in bed with the Russians, and his further development of Armenia’s ties with Russia, these protests therefore possess a potentially disastrous outcome, both domestically, for the Armenians, and also geopolitically, as it threatens Russia’s position in the region.
The situation, in effect, represents a powder keg scenario, with all the elements in place to provoke the necessary popular discontent that would play into an attempt at regime change. And, indeed, this situation has all the markings of a color revolution, as the ring leader for this movement, Nikol Pashinyan, is already calling it a “velvet revolution”, an allusion to the regime change that took place in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
Pashinyan has called upon protesters to obstruct roadways and prevent the opening of governmental offices, and has been so bold as to declare that the Armenian government “no longer holds legitimacy”, and that all government agencies and police personnel should only be obedient to “committees” appointed by his revolution.
these protests are exceedingly dangerous, not just for the region, but also relevant to the geopolitical balance of power between the east and west, due to the possibilities that could be unleashed if these protests escalate out of control.
While protests against Sargsyan’s government isn’t anything new, considering the protests of recent years, the protests taking place at the present time differ from its predecessors in the sense that previous riots were confined only to Yerevan, whereas the current uprising is national in its scale, and therefore presents a much greater concern.
Meanwhile, the well meaning populace of Armenia has no idea that their grievances are being played upon by international interests like a pawn on a global chess board.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.