YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 11, AMENPRESS. “Christian Science Monitor” international periodical has published an article about Nikol Pashinyan in the context of the domestic political developments in Armenia. ARMENPRESS reports the article headlined “From prison to Prime Minister” starts with the description of the developments of March 1, 2008. The article notes that back in 2008 Pashinyan was one of the key figures.
“In 2008, after 10 people had died during political protests in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, the ruling party made Mr. Pashinyan a scapegoat for inciting “mass disorder” and sought to throw him in prison. He spent more than a year in hiding, occupying the top spot on the country’s most-wanted list. Eventually Pashinyan turned himself in when a general amnesty was announced for political prisoners. But despite meeting the requirements, Pashinyan’s name was conspicuously missing from the amnesty list”, reads the article. Later Pashinyan was granted with partial amnesty. His sentence was shortened, but he did serve almost two years in prison.
The periodical refers to the domestic political developments of Armenia in 2018, when Nikol Pashinyan started a march from Gyumri and reached Yerevan, taking thousands of people to the streets who protested against government corruption and a power grab by then-Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. The protests brought the country to a halt through joyous and highly organized civil disobedience. White confetti wafted through the streets instead of tear gas.
The Economist declared Armenia, with a population of a mere 3 million, the 2018 “country of the year” for the nonviolent transition of power. While many independent groups joined the protests, one individual harnessed all the energy of the demonstrators, united the interests of urban and rural Armenians, and embodied the desires of young and old alike. That person built a coalition so strong that after just two weeks of mass demonstrations, Mr. Sargsyan stepped down with a remarkable mea culpa. “Nikol Pashinyan was right, I was wrong,” Sargsyan announced via an official statement on his government’s website.
The article notes that the recent political developments in Armenia showed that Armenia is among the post-Soviet states where a new model of democracy was formed.
“The journalist, revolutionary, and opposition leader became prime minister last May. Now he faces his hardest task yet: governing”, reads the article.
Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan