If a post-Communist record-book were kept of political protests in formerly Soviet states, Armenia could easily rank near the top. But, after years of demonstrations under various politicians, how long will Armenians keep rallying without results?
While Serzh Sargsyan took the presidential oath on April 9 to begin another term as Armenia’s president, his main challenger, Raffi Hovhannisian, vowed to keep pressing for change. But many members of the opposition rank-and-file are questioning whether Hovhannisian is the right person to lead the next charge.
Raffi Hovhannisian -- the California native who finished second to incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan in Armenia’s February 18 presidential election -- has promised to fight “a battle of love” to have the official voting results scrapped, and “the rule of the people” restored. But how many people, and for how long, are willing to support Hovhannisian’s post-election campaign remains unclear.
Increasingly the issue of domestic violence in Armenia is a topic for public discussion. Yet, greater attention to the issue isn’t yet translating into an expansion of programs to alleviate suffering and address policy shortcomings.
In Armenia, abortion is widely available, but women continue to undergo riskier means of terminating unwanted pregnancies. A major problem is that a well-established alternative method, which is recommended by the international medical community, is underutilized.
The Armenian government’s recent decision to prolong the lifespan of the aging Metsamor nuclear power plant– a decision supported by the United States – is provoking a public outcry. But with no replacement energy source in sight, the government maintains it has no choice but to place faith in the facility’s sole functioning reactor.