Armenia is officially entering the period of power reformatting. The Armenian parliament refused to approve Nikol Pashinyan as the head of government twice – on May 3 and May 10. As a result, the Armenian parliament has been dissolved.
Experts, however, argue that this is nothing more than an agreement. A double refusal to Nikol Pashinyan is a way to dissolve the parliament and hold new elections, which the acting prime minister promised to hold for June 20.
But does this mean that Pashinyan really need not worry about the unity of his team in the most difficult period of the pre-election struggle?
Certainly, Nikol Pashinyan is far from being the King of Yerevan Streets as he was just three years ago. A political shock after the defeat in Garabagh could not pass without a trace. The question is who in Armenia can challenge Pashinyan today.
In fact, Armenia has long been suffering from the ‘crisis of leaders’. There are many political parties and high-profile leaders but can any one of them lead thousands of people?
A tricky question
Let us recall the recent incident in Kazan, where Nikol Pashinyan visited to join a summit of the EAEU Intergovernmental Council. On the sidelines of the event a journalist of the Russian newspaper Izvestia asked Pashinyan to comment on a statement of the representatives of the Armenian opposition suggesting his deputy Tigran Avinyan for the post of prime minister. Obviously, Pashinyan was not ready for this question and according to eyewitnesses was confused. He tried to say something, but the journalist asked another question – what kind of relationship would Avinyan build with Russia if elected prime minister? In response, Pashinyan began to assure the audience that Avinyan was his deputy, a member of his political team. He said that he did not think that there would be disagreements between the two: “Tigran Avinyan is my political supporter. I think that we will go to the elections together and we will not have disagreements,” the Armenian media quoted Nikol Pashinyan.
Everything seems to be correct. But… does the Izvestia journalist mean that Nikol Pashinyan is going to face a ‘mutiny aboard’?
Escape of the rats?
Many people believe that some members of Pashinyan's team have already begun ‘escaping the sinking ship’. Three years ago they had hopes that Pashinyan would initiate the renewal of the country and other advances. Today he is a symbol of the most disgraceful military defeat. Moreover, Armenians should understand that nothing was over on November 10: they still have to fulfil the terms of surrender, however difficult and even humiliating they seem.
By the way, Nikol Pashinyan came to power under pro-Western slogans. There were many Soros nominees in his party Civil Contract and the My Step movement. At the beginning of the so-called ‘velvet revolution’, it seemed that he was trying to pursue, albeit relatively, a pro-Western policy.
However, things are different now. Pashinyan no longer thinks about pro-Western breakthroughs. There is no time for such sentiments in a country where the borders are guarded by Russian soldiers and the Russian base is responsible for security of the country in general.
As a result, the acting prime minister is forced to admit that Armenia's security can be ensured only through an alliance with Russia, and not on its own. In fact, he has to share sovereignty with Russia, even in very delicate matters. To make concessions that neither Serzh Sargsyan nor Robert Kocharian would allow themselves. First, he sent sappers trained by Americans to the Russian military mission. Then he signed a biosafety memorandum with Russia, which practically ensures Russian control over American biological laboratories in Armenia.
Therefore, it would be quite logical to expect that the real ‘Westerners’ will begin to leave Pashinyan. They will try to distance themselves from him, so as not to share the responsibility for the defeat from Azerbaijan.
The situation triggered attempts to search for ‘alternative leaders’. Pashinyan is opposed by Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who (are you ready?) conducts negotiations with Serzh Sargsyan... Why then certain persons from Pashinyan's team do not try to start their own game is an open question.
We can also assume that the journalist's question was part of the information campaign against Pashinyan. It is known that Izvestia belongs to Aram Gabrelyanov, whose media outlets have already launched a propaganda campaign to support the second president of Armenia, Robert Kocharian. The latter has already announced that he was going to take part in the upcoming elections by joining forces with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation ‘Dashnaktsutyun’. He holds rallies, gives interviews and, most importantly, gets the Russian media outlets involved in the process. After all, Kocharian has good connections in Moscow, which is important in Armenia. He actively plays on nationalist and revanchist sentiments. But he is primarily regarded as the leader of the so-called Garabagh Clan, which radically changes the situation. Disagreements between the power clans of Yerevan, Zangezur, Garabagh and so on has always existed in Armenia. But today, after the lost war, hostility towards the people from Garabagh is unprecedented.
Most importantly, there is still no ‘party of peace’ in the entire internal political spectrum of Armenia. There are no politicians who are ready to come to terms with their neighbours. This means that regardless of the outcome of elections Armenia has already lost them.