Op-ed: what is the Armenian opposition thinking, trying to force Pashinyan to resign?
The actions and statements of the Armenian opposition, which has been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for several weeks, were recently analyzed in the op-ed below by diplomat, historian, and adviser to the President of Armenia in 1991-1997 Zhirayr Liparityan.
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17 united opposition parties and thousands of their supporters began rallies demanding a change of power on November 10 immediately after the signing of the trilateral truce agreement to end hostilities in Karabakh. They believe that Nikol Pashinyan signed a ‘traitorous agreement’ amounting to the ‘voluntary surrender of territories to Azerbaijan’.
16 parties have nominated a single candidate for the post of prime minister, who would head an interim government until early parliamentary elections are held. This is the former Prime Minister of Armenia, former Defense Minister Vazgen Manukyan. Only one of the 17 parties does not support his candidacy, and in the event of the resignation of the prime minister, it intends to nominate its leader for the post of prime minister.
What problems are Vazgen Manukyan and his allies solving?
Zhirayr Liparityan asks six questions, and gives six answers
– Are they trying to solve the problems that arose after the signing of the statement on November 10?
No, because Vazgen Manukyan with his linguistic dexterity only plays on the strings of the hearts of the people.
‘We will not put up with this statement [of a ceasefire in Karabakh]’, he says. After this statement, he immediately says: ‘We cannot [back out of the agreement].’
– Are they solving the problems of the dead and wounded soldiers and the difficult problems of their families?
There is no evidence that they are worried about these issues, or that they will have a different approach than everyone in power. They are using the untold grief and anger of these families, our people in general, and some people’s disappointment with democracy to gain power. To achieve what they could not achieve by popular vote [ed. most of the united opposition parties are not represented in parliament].
– Are they solving the problem of a legal change of government?
No, they just demand power be transferred to Manukyan and that’s it.
– Are they solving the problem of a shaken democracy?
No, because, according to Manukyan, Prime Minister Pashinyan and his team, that is, the government and the National Assembly, must leave and hand over power to Manukyan, in his words, for a year, without new elections.
Signs of intolerance are already obvious when Manukyan declares that those who disagree with him and his friends are agents of other states, that is, traitors. And he talks about ‘cleansing’ them. What do you think this means?
– Didn’t they learn a lesson after this war and defeat on a historical scale?
They seem to have learned a lesson, but not one that is clear to all of us.
Like President Armen Sargsyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last August, Vazgen Manukyan and his friends are now declaring their war on Turkey when Manukyan says Armenia will join a group of states united against Turkey.
In general, Turkey is cooperating with Russia. Turkey is an unconditional ally, the main supporter of Azerbaijan. Which countries will Manukyan negotiate with, or whose opinion will he reckon with in order to get the most out of the November 10 statement? With Switzerland?
Manukyan and his friends do not have even a hint of the vigilance, wisdom, which are necessary to get out of this situation.
On the contrary, as we see, instead of admitting the mistakes of the past, they delve into these mistakes and try to show that they did not make mistakes. And they begin with falsification of history and even events of the recent past.
– Are they solving the problem of strengthening statehood?
How do they want to carry out this “strengthening” when they propose to ignore the constitution, the National Assembly and establish a monopoly? Vazgen Manukyan and his 17 colleagues do not resolve any of these issues.
What issues they are solving – I leave it to the reader to judge. If it is true that Prime Minister Pashinyan should leave, then this does not mean that his post should be taken by someone or some group that will not only bring nothing but a foreign policy adventure, but also has not the slightest respect for the constitution, government structures and democracy.
The greatest harm in history has been caused by those who acted as “saviors” and “people in pain.” And those who demanded power on the basis of this “feeling”, and having received, used it for evil.