For the past couple of months, the great majority of us in the Diaspora lived through an emotional roller coaster. The events in Armenia were unfolding fast and we were mesmerized by the photos and videos of the various demonstrations, the number of people participating in the acts of civil disobedience, and the incredibly high number of young participants—perhaps the most impressive part of the movement.
This was undeniably a youth movement, which was heartwarming and gave us much needed lots of hope for the future. There were no expressions of hatred but display of love for each other and the country.
From the onset, there was real concern about blood being spilled, of violence spreading, of foreign interference, security fears, deadlock, and civil strife. But none of these happened. It was truly a bloodless revolution that revealed the real character and soul of the Armenian people—especially the young generation—who simply refused the status quo. They rejected the continuation of the same. They asked for change. They were supported by the masses in all the major cities and various units of the armed forces.
Former President-turned-Prime Minister played Russian President Vladimir Putin’s book, but failed miserably. He miscalculated his administration’s failures.
Now, the new cabinet has been formed with many new faces—some, very young—and the real hard work has begun. The country faces many challenges. It needs time and patience to implement promised reforms to solve the complex issues and problems in the country. The new leadership must realize that serious, in-depth analysis and study are necessary to come up with the right solutions and the most effective plan of action. The next few months will be very critical, as the government has to submit to the parliament the strategic plan of action and whether new elections will be called and held or not.
For Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, cabinet members that have been appointed regardless of their party affiliation. In my humble opinion, for them to be successful the following values are of extremely critical importance:
Trust: The new cabinet should regain the trust of the people, by being ethical, honest, and by doing the right thing. They should start with a new clean slate, not by holding grudges but by making every effort to show their willingness and readiness to be trustworthy. Expectations are high and there is a high level of mistrust that needs to be regained so that the efforts are successful. Disappointment will have very negative after effects.
Respect: The new cabinet must be inclusive. It must embrace diverse opinions and perspectives and value the role anyone can bring to the table to achieve a collective vision for the country and its people. Respect the immeasurable talent in the country. Take into serious consideration the opinions and the wishes of the young; they represent the present and the future. After all, this movement was led by the youth—young men and women, who defied all odds.
Collaboration: The new cabinet should collaborate with all, putting aside personal and special interests to achieve the goals and objectives for the overall wellbeing of all the citizens. A major effort should be made to close the economic gap between urban and rural areas. Infrastructure needs massive improvement.
Innovation: The status quo should be challenged. It has not worked. New ideas are needed to eliminate corruption, improve the standard of living, reduce and even end poverty. Most importantly, the new cabinet must work hard to create new jobs for the youth so that the emigration flow can stop.
Accountability: All of them should honor their commitments and walk the talk. No more empty rhetoric or unfulfilled promises. Elected officials should be held accountable for their performance.
The election process should be cleaned up. No fraud, no buying of votes, no threats to government employees or those employed by the oligarchs.
Finally, the Artsakh situation needs to be resolved. The financial burden to defend the territory is extremely heavy and not sustainable. The human losses on the Line of Contact with Azerbaijan cannot continue and is intolerable. The pain and suffering is too deep.
I am optimistic and hopeful.