What fate awaits Armenian government after early parliamentary session?
    Experts analyse

    INTERVIEWS  16 June 2024 - 15:36

    Samir Ibrahimov

    On June 17, an early session of the Armenian Parliament will be held, the agenda of which will include the project of dismissal of the government and the need to form a new Cabinet of Ministers, Armenian media reported citing a statement of the National Assembly press service. The corresponding decision was signed by Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Alen Simonyan. It should be noted that the leader of the revanchist movement "Tavush for the Motherland" Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan said that the opposition will initiate the process of impeachment of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in the parliament.

    Do Bagrat and the parliamentary opposition have a chance to send the Pashinian government into resignation? After all, the majority of seats in the National Assembly are occupied precisely by representatives of the incumbent government. Probably, that is why the ruling forces agreed to hold an early session of the parliament without any problems? But if the idea is doomed to failure in advance, then why do Bagrat and the Armenian opposition need all this? Or do they still hope that they will be able to raise the masses against Pashinyan?

    Foreign political analysts answered these questions by Caliber.Az.

    Sergey Zhavoronkov, a Russian expert, co-chairman of the Democratic Choice political party and member of the board of the Liberal Mission Foundation (Moscow), notes that Pashinyan is a rather original type of populist who retains his style even after coming to power.

    "Let's remember that he held early parliamentary elections at the opposition's request - and won them. Let's face it, there aren't many politicians in the world who would do that while in power. The Armenian opposition has nowhere to go - it is doomed to demand Pashinyan's resignation, and when its demands are rejected, they will claim that we at least tried," the expert says.

    He said the problem of the Armenian opposition is that it has no constructive agenda.

    "They say that Pashinyan, with his course toward peaceful agreements with Azerbaijan, is a traitor. But what should be done? Resume the war? It is clear to everyone that Armenia will lose. Besides, there is a little-known factor outside of Armenia regarding the ambiguous, so to speak, attitude toward Karabakh Armenians. It is not the same as it was in the late 80s, when they were seen as 'brothers in distress.' Twenty years of the authoritarian regime of the Karabakh clan have significantly worsened this attitude. And although Galstanyan is personally not from Karabakh, the shadow of the Karabakh clan looms negatively over the opposition," says Zhavoronkov.

    Iliya Kusa, an analyst at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, does not think that Bagrat Galstanyan, who is positioning himself as the new leader of the opposition, has any serious political force.

    "As far as I know, he is viewed skeptically within Armenian society itself. He may be able to unite a small number of people dissatisfied with Nikol Pashinyan, but I do not expect that he will be able to go beyond the electorate of the old elites. Therefore, I do not think that the opposition has a chance to force the government to resign. In my opinion, they lack internal legitimacy and the number of supporters. They also lack basic power support. Not all of them are ready for a power struggle with the authorities, and, in general, society will not support this now. Additionally, they have a negative rating due to their affiliation with the old elites, who are disliked by everyone in Armenia. Therefore, I do not expect anything to change," the analyst believes.

    "The point of this whole endeavor seems to be to create the appearance that there is an opposition in Armenia capable of organizing some rallies," he says.

    "I personally see this as an attempt by Russia to find new political leaders among the opposition to rely on. It's obvious that the bet on the old elites didn’t work. They are not perceived well, they cannot gather large protests and demonstrations, so there is a search for someone new. They have decided to find Bagrat Galstanyan, on whom they might be able to rely.

    But I think this attempt is doomed to fail. Regardless of the attitude towards Nikol Pashinyan, his rating is stable, and for now, there is no critical threat to him. The opposition is still fragmented and cannot rid itself of its dependence on the old elites, who are extremely toxic in Armenian society," Kusa concluded.


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