Sunday, 11 April 2021

E Editorial

Difficult Times of Crisis

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In today's pandemic circumstances, as the situation in Armenia is among the worst in the world, the country's political situation is becoming more and more aggravated.  Even the danger of being infected by COVID-19 is incapable of restraining people's passions.

It appears that the government has mismanaged the fight against the coronavirus.  The organizational measures to that end and the social support programs have turned out to be ineffective, as evidenced by daily statistics and public displeasure.  In the period to come serious complications are expected in the socioeconomic sphere, regarding Artsakh, and in many other domains.

Not everyone is rallying around the commander-in-chief at this challenging juncture.  Armenian society is at a dangerous point of polarization; some even talk about the establishment of a "police state."  The nation's future is uncertain with many conflicting predictions.

Clearly we cannot continue like this.  Things are unclear in political life as well.  The visible players don't know what to do, they have no ideas or plans.  This is truly a crisis, and it has several levels.

First is the ideological crisis.  The 2018 revolution and regime change were based on "rejecting" and "being against"; there was no affirmative "in the name of" to bring everyone together, including the losing political side and naturally the majority of the public.  We do not now have a uniting concept, a vision for the future with which to inspire the body politic.

Second is the parliamentary crisis.  Today we have a National Assembly that has stayed back in 2018, when public euphoria delivered absolute power to the current prime minister.  That parliament no longer reflects the current political mosaic in society.  In such a case, the legislature cannot carry out its natural function to be a civilized platform for political struggle.  The recent anti-opposition campaign also deepens the crisis.  In developed countries, pre-term parliamentary elections take place, or else the political struggle spills out into the streets.

Third, against the background of domestic Armenian processes, the world is changing as well.  The United States is split into opposing camps, and some even fear civil war.  The European Union is also in danger of fracture, with each member-state thinking first and foremost about its own interests.  Transnational global structures are weakening.  The systemic dilemma in world politics cannot but affect Armenia.

And finally, a colossal economic disaster awaits Armenia as it does the world beyond, and as a result geopolitical and social contradictions will be exacerbated.

The list of "crises" can go on, not to mention the destruction brought, and yet to be brought, by the pandemic.  In similar conditions the nation's political mind should have been occupied with the important task of finding ways out, but we are not thinking about--some not even conscious of--these issues.  In general, the main concern of the republic's political forces is to take power before "the bell tolls."

Though it is not clear what they would do if they did have power in these difficult, unpredictable times of crisis.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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