Another political tension heats up in Armenia
According to political analysts, Pashinyan wants to put all the responsibility on his staff
The current political tension is rising day by day in Armenia. Thus, police chief Arman Sargsyan, chief of generalstaff Artak Davtyan and director of the national security service Eduard Martirosyan resigned within one day. In 2019, there also were a series of resignations in the Armenian government, but, of course, there are other factors behind it. In particular, with these resignations, Pashinyan carried out a purge operation against those close to the former Sargsyan government. The interesting point is that now Pashinyan is dismissing the people he trusted and assigned for their positions himself.
So, what is going on in Armenia where political tension is heating up amid coronavirus pandemic?
Speaking to Kaspi, political analyst Nazakat Mammadova said that on June 8, new appointments were made to three ministerial posts in Armenia in one day. "Colonel Karamyan has been appointed chief of the national security service, Gasparyan chief of staff, Colonel Kazaryan chief of police,” she said. "Chief of General Staff Davtyan was dismissed due to the fact that he held a luxurious wedding for his son during quarantine. The reason for the resignations is that Pashinyan is dissatisfied with the lack of quarantine measures. Former head of the National Security Service Arthur Vanesyan has sharply criticized Pashinyan over the recent resignations. He wrote, "Destroying everything around you and pouring your anger on others is a destructive way. Stop, Nikol!". Vanesyan is accused of having close ties with former Armenian ambassador to the Vatican, Sargsyan's son-in-law Michael Minasyan. He also admitted that he had established all relations on Pashinyan's direct instructions. Vanesyan, who was fired in 2019 amid a wave of forced resignations in Armenia, accused Pashinyan of throwing his "pogons" in the trash with his actions unworthy of an officer. Vanesyan made it clear that Pashinyan would be thrown into the dustbin of history. Vanesyan founded a political party in May this year and was elected its chairman at the congress.”
Mammadova noted that Vanesyan and Sargsyan's son-in-law Minasyan seem to have fought against Pashinyan from the same side. "Pashinyan's mistakes will increase their chances in the fight against the prime minister. Moreover, the difficult situation in Armenia has become more tense due to quarantine. In this case, Pashinyan is trying to maintain his image in the eyes of the people, putting all the responsibility on his staff, accusing them of failing to organize quarantine measures at the required level,” the political analyst added.
According to political analyst Elkhan Shahinoglu, head of the Atlas Research Center, the new appointments mean that Pashinyan was ready for resignations, and perhaps the announcement of three resignations in one day was initiated by him. "Because if Pashinyan had sent the dissatisfied ministers to resign at different times, it would have raised more questions in the Armenian society and created the image of the collapse of the government. However, Pashinyan hastily made three resignations in one day, and immediately replaced those who resigned. This means that Pashinyan determined the new appointees for himself long ago,” he said.
"Most likely, the resignation of the Chief of Staff is due to the situation in the army and the frontline,” the political analyst went on saying. "No matter how much Pashinyan tries to keep the current situation secret, he is concerned about the situation in the army and on the front line. The advance of the Azerbaijani Army in the direction of Nakhchivan and the control of the strategic road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia could not but worry Pashinyan and his team. This issue has also become a serious topic of discussion in the Armenian opposition, and the slogans of resignation against Pashinyan emphasize the dominance of the Azerbaijani Army. In this situation, inevitably, the resignation of the Chief of Staff became urgent. However, whoever Pashinyan appoints to this position, the victory of the Armenian army is a thing of the past, the occupying army will not be able to go far with weak military equipment and will have to prepare for new losses.”
Shahinoglu stressed that the resignation of the Chief of General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Artak Davtyan is also connected with his son's wedding during the state of emergency. "More than a hundred guests attended the wedding. Pashinyan warns everyone not to gather, to wear a mask, but his chief of staff ignored all these rules and married his son. This factor also played a role in the resignation. As for the resignation of the Armenian police chief, it is also linked to the coronavirus. There are hundreds of police officers infected with the coronavirus in Armenia. As for the resignation of the head of the National Security Service Eduard Martirosyan, it was a bit unexpected. Because Pashinyan believed that Martirosyan would be able to fulfill his task,” he said.
"After announcing that he and his family have recovered from the virus, Pashinyan must now think about how to save his country,” the political analyst added. "According to him, there are at least 100,000 virus carriers in Armenia. This is a real tragedy for Armenia, which has a population of less than 3 million. In addition, severe quarantine conditions have exhausted the already helpless economy. As a result, resignations and opposition activism have become another problem for Pashinyan. It should be noted that the former Armenian ambassador to the Vatican Michael Minasyan also commented on the current situation, noting that the "people are guilty" operation has been launched in Armenia, but there is only one culprit, and that is Pashinyan.”