Tensions continue as Armenia votes

1 May 2018

With tensions rising, the government of Armenia, situated in Yerevan, find themselves in hot water after refusing to negotiate with the opposition, which is something they regularly refuse to do. This is not the first time they find themselves in this situation.

 

The acting Prime Minister of Armenia, Karen Karapetyan, represents the Republican Party, and was first deputy of Armenia under former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. Karapetyan has pulled out of talks with the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan of the Way-out Alliance for the second time, and he was detained by police in Yerevan on the tenth day of protests. He was arrested because he was at the front of the nationwide protests which lead to the Republican Prime Minister resigning. These high level political discussions follow the snap resignation of the previous Armenian Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan, who also represented the Republican party of Armenia. He resigned after days of national protests, with the centre of the disputes taking place in the capital.

 

Due to the sudden resignation of the prime minister, Armenia called a snap general election, currently taking place. The opposition leader has warned that any attempts to elect another republican candidate will lead a second set of protests on the streets of Yerevan, led by himself, with members of the public storming the national assembly building. He also warned that parliament must respect the will of the people and name him prime minister following the election. Law makers and government officials in Armenia are also aware of the risk that violence will probably happen regardless of the outcome, and that Azerbaijan will seek to capitalise on this by using any techniques that are readily available to them, whether it be a media propaganda campaign or direct military force. Russia will also be watching the election with interest as they strongly believe that the pro-democracy move by the opposition leader may reignite the physical conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabkh.

 

It is almost impossible that their diplomatic relationship will ever be repaired, even if each country has a complete overhaul of their government, which is what we are beginning to see in Armenia. The Prime Minister after the election will not change anything in terms of the lack of diplomatic relationship between the two countries, even if other nations, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States try to intervene.

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