This time, we discuss the background and the outcome of Armenia’s June 2021 early parliamentary election. Our guest expert Mikayel Zolyan* considers the debates on the political processes leading to the defeat of Armenians in the 2020 Karabakh-Artsakh warto be the most divisive topic in the campaign. Mr. Zolyan sees this election as a clash of the old and the new political elite that governed the country before and after the 2018 Velvet Revolution. Former acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan’s centrist-liberal Civil Contract party received 54% of the vote, which provides the anti-corruption new-wave political formation a clear majority the National Assembly. Former head of state and prime minister Robert Kocharyan’s center-right nationalist Armenia Alliance group finished second with a bit more than 21% of the vote, while the right-wing conservative I Have Honor Alliance of Serzh Sargsyan – who previously also served as president and prime minister – achieved around 5%. The opposition claimed there had been electoral fraud, while the OSCE assessed the election as positive. Our guest analyst expects that the new Pashinyan cabinet will be able to transform the existing socio-political tensions into civilized parliamentary debates. We endeavor to understand why the moderate Armenian political forces’ victory is more advantageous for Moscow than that of the unreservedly pro-Russia actors. We try to figure out why this campaign failed to mobilize younger generations and intellectuals who were actively involved in the 2018 demonstrations. In addition, Mr. Zolyan also explains why he thinks that the 44-day Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict was inevitable.
*Dr. Mikayel Zolyan is a political analyst and historian. He works as Associate Professor at the Yerevan V. Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences. From December 2018 to May 2021, Mr. Zolyan has been an Elected Member of the Armenian National Assembly.
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