Can the will of a country’s people oust a leader? Absolutely, and it happened in Armenia. A few weeks ago, Xyza shared the story of former Armenian President and Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. After ten years under President Sargsyan and then another short stint with him as their prime minister, the people of Armenia said enough! Eleven days of protests and six days into his new role as prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan stepped down as a result of nationwide unrest calling for his removal. But removing Serzh Sargsyan wasn’t the only thing that the people of Armenia were fighting for—they wanted a new leader and real changes. So, the protests and rallies continued until the Armenian parliament announced that opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, who had been protesting alongside the people, would be the new prime minister of Armenia. What’s so different about Mr. Pashinyan? Well, a month ago, he was a protestor just like his supporters were, but his fight began back in March. Mr. Pashinyan and a small group of supporters set off on a two-week march to protest the former President Sargsyan’s plans for taking on the role of prime minister. During those two weeks, Mr. Pashinyan went from town to town, gathering support. By the end of the two weeks, tens of thousands of Armenians loudly protested alongside him in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. What might have been a small effort at first transformed into one of the biggest movements in Armenian history. Now it’s up to Mr. Pashinyan to show the people of Armenia that their protests were not in vain and that he’s the right person to lead the country. Will he be able to pull the country out of poverty, remove corruption from the government, and mend relationships with other countries? Only time will tell, but it looks like Mr. Pashinyan already has one thing on his side, and that’s the attention of the Armenian people.
May 19, 2018