Armenian general election: triumphant revolution?
The alliance led by journalist Nikol Pashinyan, who was elected prime minister of Armenia last May, has now won the parliamentary elections - with 70.2 percent of the vote and voter turnout at just 49 percent. Pashinyan was one of the leading figures in the country's anti-corruption protests last spring. Journalists explain the challenges he now faces.
Out with the old...
The signs of a fresh start in Armenia have grown with Pashinyan's victory, the leftist website Mérce comments :
“The results show that after the revolution [this spring] a completely new era has dawned in Armenia. The balance of power between the old ruling party and the political forces of the revolution has been turned on its head. ... Pashinyan has announced rapid democratisation and far-reaching changes in domestic policies. But he's also reassured Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership that he has no intention of altering Armenia's pro-Russian stance.”
Now the country must be patient
The Süddeutsche Zeitung is impressed by the transformation that is taking place in Armenia:
“A peaceful and transparent change of government is a rare achievement in a country that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union, where the interlocking of politics and business is part of the self-identity. But Pashinyan still has the hard slog before him. The Caucasus state must reinvent itself, because corruption is a tough, resilient phenomenon, and curbing it a little doesn't mean the start of an economic boom. The Armenians must wait patiently for their IT sector to mature and their tourism sector to boom. Moving closer to the EU could help, but Russia will allow this only to a limited extent. To support the revolution Armenia therefore needs to strike a clever balance in foreign policy.”