Friday, 25 September 2020

E Editorial

Who will guarantee the security of oligarchs?

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The discussion of political parties "The Civil Contract" - "Bright Armenia" revived the main issue of the political life of Armenia - "what to do?". To the activism of the CC, the BA counterposes its conformism. However, the public expects reasonable solutions, which are not present yet in the political mindset of Armenia.

The desperate situation in Armenia further deepens the political, economic, social and ideological bog. Obviously, it is impossible to achieve political changes by the elections in Armenia, moreover, there will be no presidential elections in which the society could unite around a candidate who is not a candidate for the ruling power. In fact, there will be no parliamentary elections either. Due to the introduction of territorial lists, National Assembly elections will become almost the elections of local self-government. In fact, two local elections will be held in Armenia: one of them will form local self-government bodies, and another - thanks to the votes brought by local authorities - the parliament. During local elections, especially in the provinces, citizens will be completely defenseless against local authorities, especially given that local authorities are supported by state structures.

Thus, with the help of elections, the society has no chance to influence the country's rule. The final regression of the electoral institution allows us to look for other mechanisms for political change. In this sense, first of all, it is necessary to assess what kind of governance was formed. In political science, the evaluation of such regimes is clear. Accordingly, an authoritarian regime of governance has been created in Armenia. Such regimes, naturally, have local features, but the main characteristics are common.

Authoritarian regimes are a state-political system in which political power is exercised through a particular person or class or through a narrow group of people. The main feature is that the public is isolated from influence on management decisions. Obviously, Armenia has a classical authoritarian regime. 

In such systems, the government puts emphasis on force solutions, and it is no coincidence that the number and influence of police in Armenia is inflated. It is also no accident that in recent years the number of trials with a political bearing has increased, and dozens of people have been sentenced to severe and disproportionate punishments. It should be assumed that the number of such trials will gradually increase. There is also growing control over parties. Political parties are especially controlled in authoritarian systems. A widespread phenomenon is the institution of "top-appointed" oppositionists. Proof of this is that from time to time in the media there is information that the party lists are approved by the authorities.

Another important characteristic is the fusion of the economy and power, which makes it impossible to create an independent capital in a country that can subsequently gain political weight. Under such circumstances, the vulnerable sides of such regimes should be clearly understood.

The vulnerable aspects of such authoritarian regimes established in Armenia include:

  • The system of shadow arrangements of the ruling stratum, which is acquired from a particular person. This is not an institutionalized system, which, as a result of the weakening of the influence of this individual, tends to collapse.
  • Under the influence of economic crises, the public is getting out of control, and the ruling class can not ensure the subsistence level of citizens.
  • In case of failures in military operations, the central person of the system is transformed from the icon of the system’s stability into a scapegoat.
  • Violation of the balance created on the basis of shadow mechanisms, quickly undermines the apparent stability, and irrevocable changes in the system begin.

Political strategies aimed at transforming authoritarian regimes must take into account the shortcomings of such systems, without which it is impossible to generate political transformations. Such systems, based on shadow agreements, cease to exist when situations arise when these agreements can no longer function. And the layers in the shadow agreements are beginning to understand that they no longer provide their security, moreover, they are dangerous both for themselves and for the general public. There is an automatic need for an open agreement with the public. The security of such a layer can only be ensured by the society, and their only means of salvation is to enter the legal field on the basis of the demands put forward by the public.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

Yerznkian 75, 0033
Yerevan, Armenia


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The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Center.

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