Liberalism in Armenia
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In the struggle for independence, a national liberal current arose in Armenia. Armenia officially gained its independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union. Following which, there were some attempts to refound the national liberal current, however, these initial attempts were mostly unsuccessful.
Below is a list of Liberal parties which struggled to gain support at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century:
From Armenakan Party to Democratic Liberal Party
- 1885: National liberals formed the Armenakan Party.
- 1908: The Armenakan Party merged with a faction of the Reorganised Hunchak Party into the Ramgavar Party.
- 1918: A liberal anti-violence faction of the Reorganised Hunchak Party' formed the Liberal Party (Azadagan Party).
- 1921: The Ramgavar Party merged in exile with the Liberal Party into the Democratic Liberal Party (Ramgavar Azadagan Party). This party continued operating in exile and is said to be represented in the first parliament after Armenian independence in the 1990s.
- The 2018 Armenian revolution sparked a wave of protests calling for the end to corruption, strengthening of democratic values in Armenia and bringing an end to the rule of the Republican Party of Armenia which had been in power from 1995 to 2017.
- During the revolution, the Way Out Alliance had emerged as a liberal political alliance in Armenia. The alliance had a Pro-European orientation and believed that Armenia should have closer relations with the European Union.
- Nikol Pashinyan was the main figurehead and leader of the Way Out Alliance.
- Prior to the 2018 Armenian parliamentary election, Pashinyan formed a new liberal democrat alliance called the My Step Alliance. Following the election, the alliance won 88 seats in the National Assembly and Pashinyan was appointed Prime Minister of Armenia on May 9, 2018.
- Meanwhile, Bright Armenia, another Liberal party, became the third largest party in the National Assembly following the elections. The party maintains a Classical Liberal ideology. The party opposes Armenia's membership in the Eurasian Union and supports Armenia's full membership in the EU and wishes to begin the first steps of accession negotiations without delay. It is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.
- Armenia is a full member of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the EU's Eastern Partnership and the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly; all of which support the development and maintenance of democratic values in Armenia.
- Some other political parties, which do not have current representation in the National Assembly also advocate for closer European integration of Armenia and strengthening of liberal democratic values in the country. This includes the Free Democrats, Heritage, Republic Party and the Rule of Law Party.