“Will these be the elections that begin to allow trust between voters and their representatives?”, Ghazarian asks
Salpi Ghazarian, The Director of the Civilitas Foundation believes that the revolution in Armenia has already begun.
In a message circulated by Civilitas Foundation's newsletter Ghazarian says: “It's true. The Armenian revolution has begun. And I'm not even talking about the May 6 parliamentary election or its outcome.”
According to her, the revolution is being led by young people (“the independence generation”) who are committed to bringing change.
“This particular situation is revolutionary because these young people ? the independence generation ? has understood that change for change's sake, is insufficient. It must be legal and institutional to be fair and long-lasting”, she says.
The young people showed a great spirit of responsibility when President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Mashtots Park, the location of the recent clash between the environmental activists and Yerevan Municipality authorities. The laters wanted to disfigure the neighbourhood by giving permits to open kiosks in this park, while the activists opposed in a confrontation that lasted several weeks.
A week before the 06 May 2012 elections, President Sargsyan visited the site and asked the Mayor to remove the structures and free the green space. No kiosks will be allowed there.
Ghazarian believes that this was the crucial moment when the revolution began. “The activists publicly invited those who govern the country to bring legitimacy and transparency to the decision-making process.”
The “revolution in thinking” starts when thoughtful and politically mature response is given instead of reverting to the use of power to put an end to the young people's demands, she explains.
The real question that rises and which will be challenged during the upcoming elections would be the trust between voters and their representatives. Elections in this sense could be considered as chapter 2 in the revolution. “Will these be the elections that begin to allow trust between voters and their representatives?”, she wonders.
Photo: Mashtots Park kiosks being dismantled.
20 Questions and Answers with Salpi Ghazarian (Youtube URL).
President Serzh Sargsyan made a 10 minute appearance at the park to say that he has asked the mayor to see that the kiosks are dismantled within a short period of time. After 80 days of protest, the president and mayor made their first appearances at the park (Youtube URL).