Armenia is a parliamentary democracy with a strong executive branch. Many political parties have formed and disappeared in Armenia’s first decade of independence, and the parties are often based on the popularity of one leader, or dislike of a current leader. Some parties that were formed over 100 years ago, and represented in the Armenian government of 1918-1921, have survived in Diaspora communities and reestablished themselves in Armenia after independence.
The most popular parties in Armenia are the conservative Republican party, the Prosperous Armenia party, the rule of law party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Despite Armenia adopting a democratic system since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, international groups like the US Department of State and the Council of Europe still question the fairness of Armenia’s parliamentary and presidential elections, mentioning polling insufficiencies, a lack of cooperation by the Electoral Commission and unsatisfactory maintenance of electoral lists and polling places as reasons.
Freedom House, a U.S.-based government-funded organization that conducts research on democracy and political freedom, categorized Armenia as a “semi-consolidated Authoritarian regime” in 2008, along with Russia. The group also ranked Armenia as a nation in “transition.”
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