May 7, 2020 - 12:38 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia has earned the largest two-year improvement ever recorded in Freedom House’s Nations in Transit report, but continues remaining a Semi-Consolidated Authoritarian Regime.
Based on the Democracy Score and its scale of 1 to 7, organization has defined the following regime types: Consolidated Authoritarian Regime (1.00–2.00), Semi-Consolidated Authoritarian Regime (2.01–3.00), Transitional/Hybrid Regime (3.01–4.00), Semi-Consolidated Democracy (4.01–5.00), Consolidated Democracy (5.01–7.00).
Accordingly, Armenia’s score has climbed from 2.93 to 3.00 as a result of improvements in the electoral process and the corruption situation.
The report says a motley crew of far-right, violent extremist groups have also been making their voices heard in countries as diverse as the Baltic states, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, and Armenia: "While the groups and their xenophobic messages are not necessarily new, they have demonstrated a new level of cross-border cooperation and enjoyed increasing support from American and Western European counterparts."
Despite their leaders’ choices, citizens’ yearning for democracy remains strong, the Washington-based NGO says. Major transformations driven by public demands for better governance have been underway in Armenia, and prime minister Nikol Pashinyan will now face the difficult challenge of managing expectations, maintaining trust, and restructuring corrupt systems without contravening democratic norms, says the report.
The new government, it adds, has pursued significant, democratic reforms since crushing the old ruling party in that parliamentary elections.
Also, Freedom House says, local concern over runoff from the planned Amulsar gold mine became a headache for Pashinyan, who inherited the project from the corrupt administration ousted by popular protests in 2018. Activists have blocked the mine’s approach road for months; they say Pashinyan will prove that he’s no different than the leaders he replaced if he greenlights the project.