This month, mass protests in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, have forced the prime minister to resign — and put this nation’s political future up in the air.
The unrest began in March after then-President Serzh Sargsyan, leader of the ruling party, tried to circumvent limits on his power. Facing term limits as president, Sargsyan changed the government to a parliamentary system and stepped into the position of prime minister. Nikol Pashinyan, a member of the Armenian legislature, launched a public campaign to stop him. Intense street protests forced Sargsyan to resign after less than a week in the post of prime minister.… Seguir leyendo »
For the last three years, Ukrainian activists have been trying to beat back systemic government corruption — but now that “Revolution of Dignity” is hanging by a thread. In mid-December 2017, anti-reform forces in President Petro Poroshenko’s government moved to suppress anti-corruption forces, including efforts to sideline the most prominent anti-corruption member of parliament and to subordinate the country’s independent anti-corruption bureau to the very politicians it is supposed to investigate. Here’s what’s going on — and how it matters to anti-corruption efforts worldwide.
A new approach to rooting out corruption: The ‘sandwich’ model
For the last three years, Ukrainian civil society and the international community have been experimenting with a new way to force the government to undertake major anti-corruption reforms called “the sandwich.”
Typically, when international organizations try to help eliminate government corruption, they focus on providing political and technical support, helping reformers in incumbent governments push through reforms.… Seguir leyendo »
Symposium introduction: On Sunday, the unexpected happened in Russia. Across the country, coordinated anti-corruption protests drew tens of thousands of people. Ostensibly these were not directed at President Vladimir Putin (although, as you’ll see below, opinions differ.) Rather, opposition leader Alexei Navalny called for the protests in a video released online accusing Prime Minister (and ex-president) Dmitry Medvedev of a spectacular, and corrupt, accumulation of wealth, demanding an investigation. Protests struck dozens of cities, were widely dispersed and were led by pensioners and young people.
To understand these surprising protests, I asked experts on Russian politics from PONARS Eurasia to join an online symposium, answering the question: Do the protests that took place across 99 cities in Russia on Sunday signify that meaningful change in Russian politics is likely?… Seguir leyendo »