December 8th local time is the “deadline” left by the Armenian opposition for Prime Minister Pacinyan to resign, but Pacinyan ignored this request, which triggered thousands of protesters to hold demonstrations again in the capital Yerevan.
Since the victory of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan and the signing of the ceasefire agreement between Asia and Russia on November 9, Passiniyan has been facing great political pressure in the country for the past month. The Armenian people dissatisfied with the agreement that “cede” most of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan took to the streets and demanded that Paciniyan, who made a decisive decision to make a ceasefire, step down and apologize for his sins.
This public opinion is persistent, and it is also backed by the support of the Armenian opposition and some political elites. Over the weekend, the opposition organized tens of thousands of demonstrations next to the Prime Minister’s residence and threatened to organize disobedience throughout the country. The opposition also advocated the formation of a new “interim transitional government” to deal with the crisis until early parliamentary elections were held.
Meanwhile, all the surviving former presidents of Armenia from Armenia’s independence in 1991 to 2018 have proposed Pahiniyan’s resignation. Archbishop Gallekin II of Armenia also delivered a televised speech on 8 December, calling for Pashiniyan to resign: “This is to avoid social shocks and possible conflicts and their tragic consequences.”
In an interview with The Paper (www.thepaper.cn), political scientist Arkady Dubnov of the Carnegie Center in Moscow said that there are theoretically two legal ways to dismiss Pacinyan. One is that the opposition obtains a majority in Parliament. Hold on, but this method cannot be achieved because Pasinija belongs to the majority. Second, it relies on street pressure to force him to resign. However, the current street protests are not large enough, so Pacinian is likely to continue to hold the position of prime minister.
Stepan Danielyan, an Armenian activist and chairman of the Cooperation for Democracy Center, told The Paper that he thought Paciniyan should resign because The defeat of Nagorno-Karabakh not only requires the current Prime Minister, but also deserves to be charged with him.
Is it a “traitor” or a “scapegoat”?
Under the mediation of Russia, Asia, Asia and Russia issued a tripartite ceasefire agreement on the night of November 9. According to the agreement, Asia and Afghanistan will maintain their occupied positions, and Russian peacekeeping forces will be stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh for five years (and above). This is the fourth ceasefire agreement reached between Asia and Afghanistan since October 10, and the only agreement that has not been broken so far.
Since the Nagorno-Karabakh war was divided when the ceasefire agreement was signed, this agreement amounted to Armenia allowing Azerbaijan to “recover” most of the Nagorno-Karabakh land lost in 1994. Because of this, some Armenians do not buy the so-called agreement that can bring peace, and denounce their “dereavement of power and humiliation of the country”.
Passinyan has been constantly explaining the necessity of this agreement to his own people since November 9. In a video he posted on his Facebook homepage on November 26, he acknowledged that although the ceasefire agreement was “bad news”, the outcome could have been worse. “The bad news (truce) spread in the early morning of November 10 and caused a new wave of bad news (protests), but we will not escape. , because we are convinced that the alternative to bad news will only be worse.” Passiniyan said.
It is worth mentioning that Russian President Putin revealed in his speech on Naqqa on November 17 that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over this disputed land should have ended at the end of October, but unfortunately, Pasiniyan refused to cease fire – which is proof of Armenia’s domestic one Part of the accusations are that his wrong decisions have dragged the war to a greater failure.
In an interview with Armenia’s Channel 5 in early December, former President Robert Kocharyan also pointed out that Pacinyan should start the ceasefire on the fourth day of the outbreak of the conflict, rather than dragging it until Armenia’s discussion on Naqqa’s status is hopeful.
“At that time, the Azerbaijanis only pushed forward three to four kilometers, and we were killed about 500 people. However, the Pasiniyan government waited until the 44th day of the war, thousands of people were killed, more than 10,000 people were injured, and a large area of territory was lost. The situation was at its worst. Kocharyan accused him.
However, Putin also stressed that there was no basis for accusing Passinyan of treason, and he never mentioned the transfer of Shusha to Azerbaijan (shusha was captured by Azerbaijani troops in early November). In a phone call that refused to cease fire at the end of October, Pacinyan told Putin that a ceasefire under the terms at that time was unacceptable to Armenia.
In response, Danielyan analyzed that although the high risk of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh always exists, the previous leaders of Armenia will do their best to avoid war. At present, it is Paciniyan who created all possible opportunities and reasons for Azerbaijan to start and win the war. “Hi unwise policy makes Yameni Asia is almost isolated on the international community, which also causes the current internal division of Armenian society. Pacignan needs to take responsibility for all this.
Alexander Iskandaryan, director of the Armenian Caucasus Institute, pointed out in an earlier interview with The Paper that Armenia lost the Naqqa War because it was not equal to the military resources of Azerbaijan, which is strongly supported by Turkey. Therefore, he believes that “it is almost impossible to condemn this agreement, and there is no need to embarrass politicians such as Paciniyan.”
In addition, Dubnov did not believe that Passinyan would be forced to resign on the streets, because “there are no fewer people tired of bloody war than those who oppose this ceasefire agreement. The resignation of Pacignan is mainly the demand of some Armenian elites, not the whole people. At the same time, the public can find that there are many corrupt officials among these people.
Dubnov admitted that if he must blame Passinyan, his fault is only that he replaced a group of military personnel for political distrust after taking office, which damaged Armenia’s military strength. “But what’s more fatal is that neighboring Azerbaijan itself is better than when the last Naqqa War at the end of the last century (1 988–1994) became difficult to defeat.
In sharp contrast to the Armenian people, Azerbaijanis have recently celebrated the historic victory of 44 days of fighting. Firstly, on December 2, President Aliyev adopted the decision to designate November 10 of each year as Azerbaijan Victory Day. After considering that this day is also the anniversary of Atatürk (editor’s note: the founder of the modern Turkish Republic of Turkey), he changed Victory Day into the strategy of Azerbaijani army occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. November 8th, Shusha.
The president of false power “turned to the opposition” in a high-profile
It is worth noting that when the ceasefire agreement is about to reach the full moon, Pachiniyan has repeatedly “blamed the blame” and frequently “fired” on domestic issues. At the same time, some Armenian ruling elites also turned against the current government of Passinyan.
On December 5, Passiniyan posted on Facebook that the reason for Armenia’s failure in Nagorno-Karabakh was not the current government. He again tried to see defeat as a consequence of the failure of the national leadership in the past and the corruption of local governments, which put the country in a difficult diplomatic position and the Armenian army was unable to resist the Azerbaijani army.
“We can’t turn the tables from the long-term disadvantage of the last 20 to 25 years.” “It’s a fact that we cannot avoid the consequences of other people’s failures,” Pasiniyan stressed.
While Passinyan blamed the previous government for his failure, some former ruling elites of Armenia also tried to blame the current government for their mistakes. All living former Armenian presidents from Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 to Passinyan’s accession to power in 2018 recommended the resignation of the current prime minister.
In addition, even the current ruling elites have jumped out to attack the current government. Since the outbreak of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenian head of state and president Almen Sargsyan, who was originally only a ceremonial position, has constantly come forward to refresh his sense of existence. Not only did he frequently interview the media, but also drew a line from the conclusion of the tripartite ceasefire agreement at the first time, expressing his support, and then in November On the 28th, he went to Moscow for a “private visit”.
Armen Sargsyan announced on his presidential official website on November 11 that he had learned of the ceasefire agreement through the media and stressed that Pachiniyan had not held consultations with the President before signing the agreement. He urged Paciniyan to immediately engage in political negotiations on this issue in order to agree on “a solution that can protect the interests of the country”.
During his private visit to Moscow on November 28, Armen Sargsyan met with representatives of the local Armenian community and institutions. At that time, he said that the current government should step down. Almén Sargsyan described the current situation in the country as “a crisis of a people, a human rights, psychological, financial, economic and humanitarian crisis”. In his view, it is better for a respected person to form a technocratic interim government, which will work for six months to a year until new elections are held.
It is worth mentioning that the voice of the political community has also received a response from the religious community. Archbishop Gallekin II of All Armenia, the leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, called on the Armenian Parliament on December 8 to show a high sense of responsibility and listen to the voice of society for the election of a new prime minister and the formation of a government of national unity. He believes that only a government composed of professionals in public trust can solve the problems facing Armenia and restore unity within the nation. Editor’s Note: The Armenian Constitution makes the Armenian Apostolic Church the state church, and in 2015 statistics show that 92.5% of the population of the Armenian state are members of the church.)
According to the official website of the Armenian presidential palace on December 9, Armen Sarki wrote to Russian President Putin on the 8th at a reasonable time, asking him to support and help the demarcation of Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan. In the letter, he said that there was still a potential danger of a new dispute between the two sides on the demarcation of the border, so he hoped that Russia would support this process in order to prevent the situation from continuing to develop in a negative direction.
According to the article written by EurasiaNet, Almén Sargsyan has recently appeared frequently in the spotlight to launch a concentrated offensive against the Prime Minister, in sharp contrast to his previous low-key style. There are skeptical voices that the president, who has been showing his personal diplomacy recently, wants to replace Pacignan in the power position.
However, Almén Sargsyan said in a public interview on November 25 that as the president of the people, he did not want to be prime minister, but was ready to cooperate with any new government. At the same time, however, he also hinted that “he can do more, and now the president can do little in the fields of diplomacy, economic investment and so on.”
Daniel Jan, who had just met with Almén Sarkisian on December 10, pointed out that although the president tried to mediate between the government and the opposition at the beginning of the crisis and eventually made some compromises, “as far as I know, Paciniyan’s contradictory position and his unwillingness to speak to anyone. The president was ultimately disappointed, and as a result, the president tried to seek cooperation with the opposition.
Must you resign? Passinian has a lot of countermeasures.
It is worth noting that Armen Sargsyan, who is now expanding his political influence, has previously triggered a “great earthquake” in Armenian politics because of his failure to curb the long-term ambitions of the former prime minister to take power during his tenure.
On April 17, 2018, the then President of Armenia, Armen Sargsyan, signed a decree appointing former President Serzh Sargsyan as the Prime Minister of the new government (Editor’s Note: Although the two have the same surname, they are not related). Previously, Serzh Sargsyan served as president from 2008 to April 9, 2018. He pushed for a referendum on constitutional amendment in 2015 and transformed the Armenian polity into a parliamentary system after the adoption of a constitutional reform of Armenia and the formation of a new parliament in December that year. This means that Serzh Sargsyan will be transferred to the post of Prime Minister of power after leaving the presidency on April 9, 2018.
The then Prime Minister’s ambition to plan a long-term rule triggered a large-scale demonstration by the Armenian people since April 12, 2018. After 11 days of protests, Serzh Sargsyan announced his resignation as Prime Minister and called for “peace and harmony in the country”. His initiative to step down avoided his exile and turned the “Velvet Revolution” that broke out that spring into a less revolutionary political struggle.
Around the attribution of power, Armenia’s political elite then launched several rounds of games. Passinyan, who was still a journalist at that time, became the only candidate nominated by the opposition coalition for prime minister by giving passionate speeches in the streets and leading protests. However, in the first parliamentary election, Passinyan was defeated because he received only 45 votes in support and failed to reach the 53 votes necessary for the election of the Prime Minister.
In the second election held on May 8, 2018, Pashiniyan was elected as the prime minister of the new government by 59 votes to 42. On October 16 of the same year, in order to eliminate the constraints of the opposition party, Pashiniyan announced his resignation and called for a new parliamentary election to be held early. His party, My Action, later won the new parliamentary election and became the largest party in Parliament.
It was not until January 14, 2019 that Armian Sargsyan signed a presidential decree formally appointing Pahiniyan, who was nominated by Parliament, as the Prime Minister of the new government that the political crisis in Armenia was basically over. This round of power game ended with the victory of the opposition alliance and Pashiniyan’s throne of power.
Just over a year later, familiar scenes reappeared on the streets of the capital Yerevan. On November 11th, immediately after the signing of the ceasefire agreement, the Armenian opposition organized a march to demand Pashiniyan’s resignation. According to Pashiniyan’s Facebook homepage, his own office has been seriously damaged, and computers, watches, perfumes, driver’s licenses and other items in the Prime Minister’s residence have been stolen.
After Pachiniyan ignored the “deadline” of December 8, a total of 18 opposition parties across Armenia participated in the protests that day, affecting many cities. In Yerevan, protesters blocked the main urban roads and suspended subways at one time – but the momentum was far less than the political boom during the “Velvet Revolution”.
Although the opposition is currently making great efforts to promote Pacinyan’s resignation and formation of a new government, current President Armen Sargsyan is not their prime minister. Since the signing of the agreement, 17 opposition parties in Armenia have launched an “forced palace” operation in Parliament. They plan to nominate Vazgen Manukyan, the current First Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia and former Minister of Defense, as the leader of the interim government of Armenia.
“Not only did Armen Sargsyan not perform his president’s duties to the country and the people well during his reign, but also the widespread corruption of the political elite he represented was the deep factor in the outbreak of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ at that time.” Dubnov told The Paper that although the defeat in the Naqqa war seriously frustrated Pacinyan’s political strength, there is not an opponent in front of him enough to make the outside world pay attention to him.
Therefore, Dubnov believes that Pacinyan’s resignation is unlikely. He pointed out that even if the political elites opposed to the current prime minister will still struggle to “huss” the crisis into political capital, the support for Paciniyan in Parliament and the people may not change. “The Armenian people can also find that there are many corrupt political elites among those who oppose Pasnian now.”
On December 8, Armenian police arrested hundreds of protesters who participated in the anti-Passinyan demonstration, including the leader and the unrecognized “Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Armenia” Manukyan. At that time, Paschinian met with the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Lynn Tracy at the Prime Minister’s Office, who spoke highly of the current U.S.-Asian relations.
In response, Danielyan believes that there is still another possibility in the current political situation in Armenia – even if Passiniyan resigns, the parliament cannot elect a new prime minister.” In this case, under the Constitution of Armenia, the Deputy Prime Minister will automatically become acting prime minister and announce early elections, at which time Pasiniyan can use administrative resources to influence the election process.” “Or, the parliament will elect a ‘moderate’ opposition leader as prime minister, so that Pacinyan can get guarantees of personal safety, while the new prime minister may be more pro-American and European,” Daniel Young analyzed.
Danielyan pointed out that both situations are acceptable for Passinyan. Therefore, if the situation of popular protests against him worsens, Pacignyan may not consider resigning, “but there may also be a third situation, that is, the more popular Manukyan in Russia, will become the new one. Prime Minister of Armenia.