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Pashinyan’s future as an Uncertain Prime Minister in the face of the Political Crisis




Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan presented a roadmap for government activities on November 18 for the next six months with the aim of overcoming the current state in Armenia and establishing stability and security. The plan was created in response to political unrest and growing calls for his resignation following his signing of a tripartite agreement signaling Armenia’s defeat in the 2020 Artsakh War.

The agreement, signed on November 9 and mediated by Russia, ended 45 days of military enmity between Armenia and Azerbaijan and set a deadline by which Armenia must withdraw its armed forces from the Kelbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions while handing over the areas. captured by Azerbaijan during the course of the war, including Shushi and Hadrut. Russian peacekeepers have already been sent along the new line of contact under the agreement.

The Pashinyans’ agenda includes the resumption of the Nago-Karabakh peace process in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group with an emphasis on the status of Artsakh, the restoration of infrastructure in Artsakh and Armenia, the provision of extended social guarantees, and the reform of the Armenian Armed Forces and the establishment of a psychological rehabilitation system. I have already said that I consider myself primarily responsible for the current situation. I am also primarily responsible for overcoming the situation and establishing national stability and security, he wrote. I emphasize that not only do I not intend to relinquish those responsibilities, but I am also fully committed to that work.

The unveiling of the deal on November 10 sparked several days of protests in Yerevan. However, the challenge facing the future of the Pashinyan administration was reinforced by a series of controversial statements and Facebook posts by the Prime Minister following the announcement of the ceasefire agreement. On the evening of November 15, in a commentary perceived as a call for civil war, Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page, Today I saw dozens of videos of soldiers from the front line. The wisdom of the soldiers struck me. Guys, you are right. I am waiting for you in Yerevan. To finally resolve the issue of whiners under the walls. In response to this comment, four members of parliament as well as two Deputy Ministers from the ruling Bloc My Step offered their resignations.

The prime minister clarified that he was not calling for violence against his political opponents during a live broadcast the next morning. However, later that day, he plunged into scandal again when he told Parliament that war would have been inevitable if Armenia had not handed over Shushi to Azerbaijan. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan publicly denied this claim, claiming that there has been no discussion regarding the renunciation of the city of Shushi at any stage of the peace process. Just minutes after that statement, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who had been in charge of diplomatic relations during the war, announced his resignation. A few days later, on November 18, former Deputy Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan was appointed as his deputy.

During the same speech, Pashinyan also said, Shushi was an unlucky, colorless city. Did we need Shushi? If we needed it, why was it left in that state? He said in a Facebook post the next day that he had wept that enough private and public investment had not been devoted in recent decades to the development of Shushi.

In response to the criticism facing Pashinyan, President Armen Sarkissian called for the resignation of the prime ministers, early parliamentary elections and the creation of a high-quality Consensus National Government that would rule in the interim during a speech broadcast this week, effectively distancing itself from the Pashinyan administration in the event of early elections.

Following the announcement of the tripartite agreement, Chief of General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Onik Gasparyan urged opposition parliamentary political parties to wait a week before calling for an end to martial law in order to secure military leadership. an opportunity to explain the security issues under the ceasefire agreement. As promised, he issued a statement on Tuesday in which he argued that, presented with a very bad scenario and a tragedy, the military chose very bad. However, the understanding that as a result of this decision we succeeded in retaining most of Artsakh and defending the main military potential of the Armenian Armed Forces says that we have no right to despair. We must unite, recover quickly and prepare to continue the fight, he wrote.

However, the parliamentary factions of prosperous Armenia and bright Armenia have led calls to remove the currently imposed martial law and remove Pashinyan from power through a vote of no confidence. These two opposition parties have stated that they will boycott the parliamentary sessions until a no-confidence motion is put on the agenda. Only one issue needs to be discussed in this room: the end of martial law, the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan, the new leadership and the new negotiations, said MP Naira Zohrabyan during a session of the National Assembly.

Protesters from 17 opposition parties march in Yerevan, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan after signing an agreement with the leaders of Russia and Azerbaijan ending the Artsakh War (Photo: ARF Armenia)

On November 18, simultaneous rallies were held in Yerevan in support of and against the Prime Minister. We have no intention or desire to rise to power, Republican Party spokesman Eduard Sharmanazov He stressed during the opposition rally. The salvation of the homeland must begin with the removal of this owner and traitor. The meeting in support of the Prime Minister, which his administration claims it did not organize, was attended mainly by members of the army. whether [his detractors] found themselves in Karabak for a minute, they would realize that if we now unfortunately have 2,000 casualties, if that agreement was not signed, we would have 15,000 casualties, a soldier present i tha Radio Liria.

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a journalist based in Los Angeles, California. She has written for the Daily Californian, Hetq and Armenian Weekly, covering topics ranging from the HIV / AIDS epidemic in Armenia to the Armenian feminist movement on Instagram. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Armenian Studies and applies her human rights expertise to uncover silent stories. When not in search of a story, Lillian enjoys writing poetry and attending “Zoom-ba” quarantine classes.

Lillian Avedian

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