April 9 is a significant day in the modern history of Transcaucasia. In 1989, dispersal of opposition rally near the Government House of the Georgian SSR, also known as the Tbilisi massacre, occured. People died. But this tragedy became a reason for residents of the republic to think about their future. Two years later, on April 9, 1991, Georgia declared its independence.
This year, April 9 can become a very important day for Armenia. On this day, the second presidential term of Serzh Sargsyan, who took office in April of 2008, will end. Now Sargsyan is likely to become a Prime Minister of the country. New version of the Armenian Constitution leaves ceremonial functions to President, just like in Georgia, while the real power is now held by Prime Minister. Armenian opposition claims that constitutional amendments were made just for the sake of Serzh Sargsyan, and if he remains in power (now as Prime Minister), Armenia will become an authoritarian state, the issue of mass migration will become even worse, political persecutions and mass violations of human rights will continue, and control over the media will tighten.
Ten years of Sargsyan's rule were difficult for the country. His presidency began with a series of protests, which began right after the elections. Ten people died during clashes between protesters and law enforcement officiers, but investigative authorities and courts never found those who were responsible for that.
Sargsyan is also blamed for actions of the Sasna Tsrer group; results of a four-day war, during which not only Armenian soldiers were killed, but Armenia also lost control over occupied territories. In addition, Yerevan didn't try to restore relations with Turkey. Since Armenian-Turkish Zurich protocols were linked to progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Serzh Sargsyan ultimately announced cancellation of the signed "Protocol on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations" and "Protocol on Development of Bilateral Relations" with Turkey.
Experts also note that the country's external debt increased. By the end of 2008 it amounted to over 1.5 billion dollars, and by the end of 2017 it reached 5.4 billion dollars. Now external debt is approaching 60% of Armenia's GDP, and impoverishment of the population has caused mass emigration.
Armenian opposition already opposed Sargsyan's "third term" and threatens to organize mass street protests against his endless rule.