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D. II.2.a. Armenia: 2003 and 2008

Inspired by electoral protests elsewhere, a number of Armenian NGOs tried to mobilize to contest the rigging of presidential elections in both 2003 and 2008 and engaged in voter education and electoral monitoring. Despite findings by the Constitutional Court in favour of opposition candidates’ complaints about the unfairness of the poll, and a degree of external monitoring that criticised the electoral process, public mobilization to demand new elections, including marches and a tent city, were crushed by the regime both times.

Armenia has been less well covered than most other electoral protests in post-Soviet states. But see:

Ishkanian, Armine, Democracy Building in Post-Soviet Armenia, London, Routledge, 2008, pp. 206

Critical assessment of western support for civil society groups, noting that it can create a backlash and needs to be considered in the historical, social and cultural context of the country involved. Also makes comparisons with other post-Soviet states.

See also:

Valerie J. Bunce; Sharon L. Wolchik, Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Post-Communist Countries, (D. II.1. Comparative Assessments), pp. 190-98 for useful summary and detailed references.