Thousands protest to demand early parliamentary elections

Peaceful Assembly

On 2nd October 2018 Armenians took to the streets and gathered outside the parliament building to reject a legislative initiative that would make it difficult for the new government to "disband the legislature and call new elections". Prime Minister Pashinian has been calling for Parliamentarian elections to be held in early December 2018 as "the composition of parliament did not reflect the country's political reality".  

“Holding early parliamentary elections was one of the conditions of our velvet revolution and was included in the government program, which was approved by the parliament.” Pashinyan claimed during the protest.

Expression

In October 2018, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, visited Armenia to assess the situation of freedom of expression in the country. The Representative encouraged the authorities "to prioritise the safety of journalists and to act against any threats and intimidation media workers may face". He also highlighted the need for certain reforms to guarantee the "independence and accountability" of public service media and of the National Commission on Television and Radio. 

Association

As reported on the CIVICUS Monitor in April 2018, Armenia experienced some of its largest protests since its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The massive demonstrations led to a peaceful transition of power. Months after, civil society have been debating the results of the revolution as well as the challenges ahead. In one of such meetings, on 10th September 2018, civil society representatives discussed some of the positives aspects of the transition, highlighting for example, how people in the country feel more empowered to take to the streets and demand changes. “It is basic, but very important," said Haykuhi Harutyunyan of Protection without Borders

Regarding the challenges, the situation remains complex as the new government "inherited the old institutions and policies serving interests of narrow group of oligarchs". 

Tags: protest