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"March in addition to" on the background of the progressive fragmentation of Armenian society
Material posted: Publication date: 27-02-2019
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on 1 March in Yerevan intends to hold a March, dedicated to the tragic March events of 2008, which killed ten people. He urged all citizens to join him in the "large-scale civic processions," noting that it will focus on "the victory of the citizen of Armenia over violence, electoral fraud, corruption, lawlessness, political persecution".

Triggered "marsh noted," although several purposes, but chief among them is the demonstration of popular support for the incumbent government and the supporters of the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharian, who is behind bars in the case of "March 1" (and not only), in their small minority.

It is not surprising that immediately after the announcement noted most active representatives of the former government also appealed to the people, but with a request to boycott the March, thus, in their words, "to prevent the Prime Minister to show that people are still supporting him and he can retain power, in spite of all his failures and mistakes".

To provide the appearance of "public support" Pashinyan still is not difficult. But here the interest is more. Namely, whether premature or still true the allegations that Nikol Pashinyan was not able to control is not something that the political processes in the country, but even within their own parliamentary faction? Recent developments of Armenian inner political life point to the truth of judgements about the unfolding backstage fight.

When their own faction — the Achilles heel

Undeniable is the fact that the ruling faction is "My step" is a colorful variety of forces and currents, including former employees of "Soros" and related non-governmental organizations. Nurtured "human rights" organizations, personnel, mandated thanks to the "velvet revolution" in Armenia last spring and the last in December, early parliamentary elections can not move away from their opposition and "rally" as in Parliament and in social networks. They continue to generate critical judgments against individual representatives of the authorities, completely forgetting that they are already in the same boat with those who criticize.

For example, after Armenian media reported that new year's eve from a gunshot wound killed Armenian serviceman of contract service Edgar Grigoryan, however, the defense Ministry and the Investigative Committee of Armenia did not publish information about this on his page in Facebook MP from the ruling bloc "step" Edgar Arakelyan 's post that if the "pre-revolutionary" Armenia's defense Ministry did not hide from the public information about the victims and the wounded, in Armenia after the "revolution" that is no longer in any sort of right.

All right. But what prevented the MP to ask the same question within the faction in order not to make it to the public?

Or, say, almost immediately after the start of the new Parliament, the Deputy faction "My step" IKE concoran made the following controversial statement: "We are surrounded by authoritarian Turkey, Iran, authoritarian, authoritarian Azerbaijan, and only our immediate neighbor Georgia is on a democratic path".

However, after a few hours of "inexperienced" MP began to assert that his words are merely "personal opinion" does not reflect the position of the faction and "never again".

Armenian analysts are of the opinion that it is the result of the growing struggle between the various factions in the government, when using the slightest pretexts to whittle the competitors. It is noted that such groups are not composed of the heads of law enforcement and financial agencies of Armenia.

To Nikol Pashinian is still possible to prevent "fermentation". Moreover, according to our information, inside the parliamentary majority are quite hard and long "explanatory discussions", to indicate that it is possible to insist on their point of view with closed intra-faction debate, but after the decision on a particular question own opinion you should keep to yourself.

Ministries became less, but control wasn't easy

Beginning of the new year was marked by a reduction in existing ministries in Armenia by one-third. Why is the government noted with remarkable consistency has gone to such an unpopular step, adding the number dissatisfied with the new government? After all, it's not only in an effort to reduce the cost of maintenance is very impressive bureaucracy. Pashinyan informed the Prime Minister explained that the reduction of the state apparatus it is necessary to increase the effectiveness of the management system, to optimize it, to make it more democratic. However, discreet the purpose of the changes was that a smaller number of ministries in addition to increases the degree of control of the Armenian bureaucracy in the bureaucratic depths of which presents plenty of footage of "old" of Armenia.

The reduction affected primarily the administrative staff of the ministries. However, as shown by the events of recent days, not so smooth in control. For example, after sending a humanitarian mission of Armenia to Syria was made controversial statements that, according to one of the surveyed Armenian political analysts, is totally unacceptable.

"It is unacceptable that the defense Ministry reported that the initiative has been supported by the Russian side, and one of the Deputy defense Minister noted that Armenia will not join any international coalition and it is only the support of the Yerevan Arab Republic," says our source.

Another example. The local newspaper "Hraparak" ("Square"), citing a source in the diplomatic corps of Armenia wrote that the United States has canceled the visit to Washington of foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and this, they say, played a role in addition to a telephone conversation with the US presidential Advisor for national security John Bolton, during which the latter asked whether the decision to send Armenian contingent in Syria final and received an affirmative answer. The publication also noted that currently the foreign Ministry of the Transcaucasian Republic is trying all diplomatic channels "to smooth out" the situation and to receive an invitation to the foreign Minister from Secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

Later on the Armenian foreign Ministry issued a denial, but did not answer the main question: will there be a visit of Minister Zohrabyan in the US or not.

Such "information failures", as well as inconsistent statements, do not promise anything good and point to a gap in the control system.

The fight against "eliminated" corruption

In Armenia before the "revolution" corruption has become systemic in nature. Now the picture has changed: what's day — new corruption revelations. But, interestingly, not so long ago the Prime Minister declared that corruption in Armenia is eradicated, and recently "upgraded" earlier said. However, it appeared that in Armenia, despite the approval of the head of the government, and today are taking bribes, and the evidence of detention of persons on specific facts.

"But if this phenomenon exists, it means that we should be detention, not once or twice a month, and ten, twenty and more. I don't care who's current or former official representative of a party, family member or neighbor. Stealing from the people should be caught, disgraced, morally destroyed and sent to prison," said Pashinyan.

Thus, the Prime Minister quite clearly gave to understand slow-witted civil servants that times have changed, although the statement "eliminated" corruption, as indirectly admitted himself Pashinyan, was clearly premature.

The oligarchs quieted down and depressed

The new government announced the rejection of the old order, what is meant, inter alia, elimination of impunity of representatives of the criminal-oligarchic class in case of incidents with their participation. Admittedly, quite a long time in Armenia such incidents were not recorded. Representatives of the criminal-oligarchic class seemed to have vanished. However, at the end of January there was an armed incident, which killed one person and injured six. The incident took place in the restaurant, swimming pool, belonging to one of the key figures of the former oligarchic system — the Melik Manukyan.

After the incident, the chiefs Katajskogo regional management and Abovyan police Department was dismissed, and officially the resignation has led to an armed incident in the restaurant, swimming pool. In addition, it came to the leader of the party "prosperous Armenia", has the second largest, after the ruling bloc "My step", a faction in the Parliament, a major owner and MP Gagik Tsarukyan.

So, first, his house was searched, and secondly, Abovian was interrogated by his son — Nver Tsarukyan. Later Gagik Tsarukyan was waiting for another bad news: the Prosecutor General's office of Armenia announced that the earlier criminal case against the Deputy from the party "prosperous Armenia" Eduard Babayan, popularly known as the "guard Tsarukyan", sent to the court.

The return of former factor and the ANC

In Armenia, 17 February the twenty-four communities across the country held elections to the local authorities. Unlike past years, the elections passed quietly, but not without surprises.

In this village won the former head of the nonpartisan Rafik Andreasyan, who in October last year, the new government was forced to resign, and won with a solid lead over the candidate who was supported by the ruling bloc "move".

Victory Andreasyan showed that candidates from the "revolution" can crash and fail, proven to not lose any other candidate, and former head. Many observers in their conclusions went even further, say, the episode in Urtsadzor indicates the precariousness of the situation Nikol Pashinian.

And all anything, if not for the statement on 16 February, Armenian national Congress (ANC), headed by the former President of the Republic Levon Ter-Petrossian, stating full support of the government and the proposal to return to a semi-presidential system of government — through constitutional changes.

The ANC's proposal was immediately assessed as a personal attempt of the first President of Armenia to save his "godson" Pashinian. Later, Levon Ter-Petrosyan had to write an article, the essence of which boiled down to the fact that he Nikol Pashinyan "not in command", his spiritual mentor is not, and to consider the ANC's proposal for the constitutional referendum with the goal of turning into a semi-presidential system is a manifestation of the desire to ensure Pashinyan presidential rule is utter nonsense.

"Thus becomes an effort to consider the proposal of the ANC is not the party as a principled position, and as a tribute to the political environment. While intentionally forgetting the fact that Congress in all his official programmes and statements have always opposed parliamentary form of government in Armenia," said Ter-Petrosyan.

To justify a really did not penetrate, painfully bright was presented a painting of "bruised" Nikol Pashinian and hurrying to his aid, Levon Ter-Petrosian.

About the umbrellas, awards, and a fragmented society

As Nikol Pashinyan lamented the fact that more than 80% of the media of the country are controlled by "forces of revenge" and they are absolutely devastating ideological work. Possible. But still, the critics give themselves new power, forgetting that society is not going to forgive them that does not forgive the previous "regime".

In addition, decisions are made, by the way, as before, without an in-depth research, impact assessment study public and expert opinions. The scandal with a multi-million dollar bonuses, with umbrella and bag of the wife of the speaker of the Armenian Parliament, with the appointment of 23-year-old Harutyun Masagana(the son of the Deputy head of state revenue Committee of Armenia Rafik Mashadyan) for the office of the military Prosecutor of Yerevan garrison, and other unexpected for the Armenian public "surprises" are the result of the above-mentioned surface approach.

All this is happening against the backdrop of the fact that the society in Armenia remains fragmented. So, the part of the citizens constituting the great majority, continues to support Nikol Pashinian, having certain expectations from the current government and personally its head. The other is adamantly against the policy of the Prime Minister. In this progressive upward trend in the number of those citizens who, in trying to think critically in relation to the former and current authorities, inclined to the conventional "political neutrality". And only time will tell whether this meant the forming stratum of Armenian society to be a necessary political balance wheel between thirsting for revenge "old" Armenia and inexperienced, mistake-prone, at almost every turn, but who believed in the coming of the "bright future" the power of the "new model".


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