30 Apr

Political change in Armenia

Armenia experienced its most profound political change since becoming independent when former President and briefly Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned. Sargsyan served two terms as president of Armenia, but in 2015, he changed the constitution which moved Armenia from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary one. Then, despite promising otherwise, he was elected Prime Minister by his party immediately after his last presidential term ended this month.

This sparked a protest organized by opponents to Sargsyan, opposition coalition Yelk (Way Out), but mostly the Civil Contract Party. These efforts were lead by charismatic multilingual 42-year-old opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan. Pashniyan is no newcomer, he has been battling Sargsyan for a decade.

I’m writing about the protests in other venues, but one of my main points is that Armenians were READY for this. Here are some analyses from the Caucasus Barometer to support this. (The CB has some nice online data analysis tools, but I made my own graphics to show some points better visually).

Armenians don’t trust Sargsyan [link to CB].

This line graph shows that the trust/distrust threshold was crossed in 2010 and for the past few years, very few Armenians trusted Sargsyan and many distrusted him.

This is a bar graph version of above. You can see that trust basically swapped.

Similarly, people were unhappy with the direction that politics were going on [link to CB].

Although don’t knows and refuse to answers were high, in the past few years, very few Armenians felt that the country was going in the right direction.

Armenians have been fairly consistent in their opinion about Armenia being a democracy [link to CB].

Election fraud and manipulation was widely connected with Sargsyan and the CB shows it [link to CB].

Additionally, Armenians are pretty keen on criticizing their government and protesting against it. [Link to CB on being critical] [Link to CB on protest]

Also, compared to Azerbaijan and Georgia, Armenians are especially keen on these things. (These are from the 2013 CB, the last that compared all 3 countries – critical, protest).


Added May 1 – trust toward Parliament [link to CB]

18 Apr

Facebook in Azerbaijan, April 2018

It has been quite awhile since I last blogged about Facebook use in the Caucasus. Again, here is a guide to how I get these data. Click on the tags for previous rates.

According to Facebook, as of April 2018, around 2,900,000 Azerbaijanis, about 30% of the total population, or more accurately, 28% of the population over age 14, are on Facebook.

Over half of all Azerbaijani men (over age 14) are on Facebook (well, 55%) and 26% of Azerbaijani women (over age 14) are on Facebook. This has been the trend for as long as I’ve been tracking this.

Looking at just youth, about 56% of Azerbaijanis ages 15-24 use Facebook. 73% of males that age and 37% of females that age. In September of 2016, 58% of young men were on the site while 31% of young women were. It seems that there was a huge growth in use by young men, but much less with young women.

As always, these numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt. This is information from Facebook ads.