Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Democracy wins in Armenia

For the past eleven days Armenians have been protesting against their Prime Minister's efforts to do a Putin and make himself ruler for life. Initially, he had responded with repression, arresting protesters and the leader of the opposition. But now, suddenly, he has resigned:

For 11 days, the opposition pressure mounted against Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia’s most powerful politician. But few expected he would go so quietly.

Sargsyan, the country’s prime minister and former president for a decade, resigned suddenly on Monday in a stunning concession to the country’s opposition, which had filled the former Soviet republic’s main square with tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding his exit.

Facing a renewed wave of thousands of demonstrators, including deserting soldiers, Sargsyan issued a stark mea culpa on Monday. “I was wrong,” he said in a statement on his government’s website. And he resigned.

Good riddance. Hopefully now Armenia can have a democratic government rather than a thinly-veiled autocracy.