Appointment of prime minister sowing doubt in stability of Armenian democracy

Appointment of prime minister sowing doubt in stability of Armenian democracy

Former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will be elected prime minister by the country’s parliament today.

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Photo: Getty Images

Former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will be elected prime minister by the country’s parliament today as thousands in the capital protest his continued rule.

Since Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago, issues such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and a faltering economy have tested the country’s domestic stability. On top of these lies a corrupt political system which oversaw a 2015 referendum that gave parliament electoral power over the president while also concentrating power in the hands of the prime minster.

Filling Sargsyan’s shoes will be his ally Armen Sargsyan, a former prime minister elected last month to the now largely ceremonial office. Although some critics have accused Serzh of engineering this power grab, others see his previous experience make him the only qualified candidate.

With Serzh Sargsyan’s hold over parliament, his rule over Armenia will certainly be continued today. Along with further eroding democracy in the region, expect Russian influence to remain strong due to his ties with Moscow. Further protests are also likely, with violence not out of the question.