What to Expect Given The History of Armenia's Past Post-Election Developments

A1plus is presenting this great archive video with lessons of the past about Armenia’s post-election developments. My main takeaway – all past elections have ended in post-election developments, but opposition has never won. However, things are different this time:
Raffi Hovannisian’s main innovations:
1. Staying respectful to the authorities and meeting the incumbent president
2. Going to the regions
3. Motivating students
4. Avoiding direct confrontation.
PS: Despite Raffi’s unwillingness to pick up a fight, tensions are growing and will probably reach their peak on March 1st anniversary of unprecedented violence that left 10 dead in central Yerevan in 2008. I have a feeling that March 1 will be the final deadline, the make it or break it point for this post-election round. And I have a bad feeling about all this…

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Reblogged this on Notes of a Spurkahye and commented:
    Here’s hoping your fears are unfounded, my friend. We cannot afford another March 1st, nor anymore bloodshed in the name of peace and freedom. I don’t wish to be reminded of Les Miserables in a real life context once more. If we are to fight against the regime, all must join in, or else the people singing the songs of angry men, their heart beating to the music of the drums, will be slain, the blood of angry men soaking soil not yet cleansed of the blood it has consumed over the years….

  2. Reblogged this on Human Rights Work in Yerevan and commented:
    A1+ has a great video (in Armenian) covering the protests from previous contested election results. The Armenian Observer mentions four differences between this protest and previous ones. I think these differences are critical as the government doesn’t know how to respond to this new style of challenging the government. They know they can’t use force, but at the same time they don’t know what to do when Hovannisian politely meets with the President and acts civilly.
    I disagree with the Observer about March 1st being the the “final deadline.” There is no doubt that the protest on March 1 will be massive with the protesters expecting trouble. It would be insane for the government to react forcefully on the 1st. And, for all the criticism you might want to give the government, they’re not insane. If Hovannisian wants to go for all or nothing, then he might make a grand statement that day, otherwise I don’t see anything of critical importance happening on that symbolic day.

    1. By saying final deadline, I meant to say, that the future of #barevolution will become clear on that day. Depending on how many people gather and how Raffi responds to them, and generally what course of action he takes, the “Barev” revolution will either grow into change of government (unlikely) or die out (likely).

      1. That makes sense, and I agree that Raffi will have to do something on that day, but don’t neglect a middle path. What could be very helpful for Armenia is to not have these flash-in-a-pan public demonstrations but a democratic system of public engagement that develops over time. This could be done if Raffi’s people (which is more than just Heritage) gets control of Yerevan’s government in the upcoming election or if Raffi establishes Gyumri as a long-term base of operations.
        If all Raffi does is take the fear away from the next generation and motivate them to publicly engage, many would call that a successful revolution.

  3. […] “I have a feeling that March 1 will be the final deadline, the make it or break it point for this post-election round,” writes the Armenian Observer. […]

  4. Shoot, SS had a National Security Council meeting today together with the ministers, Yerevan council, et. al.
    Looks like he is preparing another March 1 style event soon.

  5. It unlikely that anyone will “prepare another March 1 style even soon” if the crowds are not incited by hatred as they were in 2008 when LTP and Nikol pushed for violence.

    1. Let’s hope not. If Raffi’s movement threatens the regime, they will use force similar to March 1 no matter how civilized he tries to act.

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