Election Protests Update: Losing Momentum

It’s now been almost three weeks since election day, and it’s still not clear what’s going to happen next. The opposition isn’t pushing for an all-or-nothing battle with the government (which they’d likely lose), but it’s still not clear where they’re going with this. On Monday, I think Raffi will have to declare something or he’ll start losing his strong popular support.

Monday is when the Constitutional Court will review Raffi’s electoral challenge. Interestingly, Sargsyan will be meeting with Putin that day, commonly viewed as the kingmaker here in Armenia. If the constitutional challenge fails, Raffi won’t have any legal options left to contest the election and will be dependent on people putting so much pressure on the politicians that they’ll submit to a political solution. It doesn’t seem like Raffi’s supporters are putting nearly enough pressure on the government to achieve that.

Assorted links

  • One protestor states how this movement is larger than just Raffi Hovannisian, and the activists “will continue to struggle regardless of what Raffi does.”
  • One of the presidential candidates, Vardan Sedrakyan, was arrested as the alleged ringleader behind the shooting of Paruyr Hayrikyan. I can’t fathom why he would do something like that, but we’ll see what develops.
  • Raffi had an uplifting rally on International Women’s Day that called for recognition of the contributions of women, among other things. During the rally, Heritage representatives pointed how Sargsyan made a number of promises in 2008 to increase socio-economic status of Armenians that have turned out to be empty.
  • Hetq has an analysis about the (non-existent) dialogue between Raffi and Levon Ter-Petrosyan. The analysis is interesting but it ignores all the negative baggage that comes with Levon’s positives.
  • A member of the Pre-Parliament Sardarapet Group views this period as a period of transition where Armenia is turning from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
  • The Prosecutor is launching criminal cases on electoral fraud! Twelve cases have been launched (seven from evidence from the media), with three going to court. In the mean time, here is yet another statement regarding numerous cases of electoral fraud.
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