When a country loses a war disastrously, with a document of capitulation demolishing past victories and creating a future full of vague probabilities, it’s time for the country’s leader to resign.

It is only natural for the people of that country to want the leader responsible for the demoralizing outcome to leave. In such cases, the leader should either have a strong repressive apparatus to go against the big wave of disapproval and mistrust or resign.

Armenia, as the losing side of the 44-day war of Nagorno Karabakh erupted on September 27, 2020, is now suffering the consequences of failed war policies. The resignation of the prime minister of Armenia “Nikol Pashinyan” is now a political imperative.

The country needs a new leader, perhaps of a different calibre, at the negotiation table in order for the society to revive itself. However, there are still no signs of Pashinyan going for resignation. In the meantime, as he stays in power, the political crisis deepens.

As someone who came to power through a revolution, claiming to solve the seemingly unsolvable issue of the disputed territories of Artsakh, Nikol Pashinyan signed a document of capitulation that took away the 90’s victory of the Armenian nation.

With all the socio-economic problems in the country and no resources and a solid plan to fix them, there are nearly no chances for Pashinyan to succeed as a leader

My Step Statue Near Gyumri Vandalized

With a new point of the document of capitulation coming up almost every day since November 10, it is more than clear that the PM that has led the country to a demoralizing defeat has to leave.

Snap Elections Dismissed by the Opposition

After months of unsuccessful protests led by 17 parties demanding the PM’s resignation, Pashinyan has now finally addressed the situation. Not with a resignation speech, however. Instead, Pashinyan calls for snap elections, inviting all the parties forming the opposition to take part in them with their candidate for the new PM. 

The opposition dismissed Pashinyan’s call for snap elections, calling Pashinyan’s attempt to organize new parliamentary elections ‘misleading’. Those 17 parties, however, stay true to their principles – Pashinyan’s resignation and Vazgen Manukyan as a temporary PM.

Vazgen Manukyan

The Homeland Salvation Movement has started to actively promote their candidate after a short break following the holidays and Manukyan initiates visits to the regions of Armenia. And while people seem to not have a clear approach toward the candidate of the opposition, these visits and meetings seem to be a sign that the movement hasn’t died down yet.

Moreover, the leaders of the opposition alliance claim they are determined to resume the protests and reinvigorate the movement.  The opposition claims that the reason they refuse snap elections is that, in their eyes, Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation is the first step for solving the internal political crisis.

Still, the parties that left the parliament after the 2018 revolution don’t overestimate their chances and the only way they see Manukyan becoming a temporary PM is through a peaceful transition of power. In this case, however, major public support is what the opposition needs.

So, Who Has Better Chances?

he Bright Armenia party, with its leader Edmon Marukyan, seems to be the only party to have come to agree with snap elections to be held in the upcoming months. 

Earlier, the party refused Pashinyan’s initiative to hold snap elections, claiming that his resignation is the only subject of discussion and the first step to ensure the dissolution of the parliament and new parliamentary elections.

However, while Pashinyan persists in staying in power, Marukyan’s team has started to prepare for snap elections. Advocating for holding transparent elections, the party presented their candidate for the PM – Edmon Marukyan. 

According to Marukyan, he has a good chance of being elected, receiving votes from several members of the leading My Step faction who will take this opportunity to try and clear their name.

As Marukyan stated in his response to Lena Nazaryan, the Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament and a member of the My Step faction, his chances of being elected as prime minister are what is keeping Pashinyan from resigning. 

As Marukyan states, Pashinyan fears that Marukyan will be the candidate to receive an adequate amount of votes to become Armenia’s new prime minister. 

A recent statement on snap elections made by one of the leaders of the opposition alliance Robert Kocharyan has caused quite a discussion among the public. The second president of Armenia declared that he will participate in snap elections if held, and win.

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The public reaction to Kocharyan’s statement hasn’t been all that positive as his name is largely associated with the violent protests of March 1, 2008. In fact, Kocharyan is currently standing trial for ‘overthrowing the constitutional order’ in 2008.

And while there is a major wave of disapproval for the acting government and its leader Nikol Pashinyan in particular, the public rejects the idea of any of the former authorities coming back to power. 

I want to assure you that working in transition period is an ungrateful job for any honest government.

Robert Kocharyan

President Sarkissian Attempts to Bring the Sides to a Consensus 

As the political crisis deepens, up tօ the General Staff of RA calling for the prime minister’s resignation, president Armen Sarkissian seems to be getting more involved in the situation and attempts to resolve the situation. 

President Sarkissian invited the leaders of the opposition, both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary, to discuss the situation and finally reach a consensus. 

Edmon Marukyan, the leader of the Bright Armenia faction, the second-largest opposition faction in the parliament, met with Sarkissian on March 13. Marukyan and Sarkissian discussed the internal political crisis and snap elections as the only solution to resolve it. 

After his meeting with the president, Marukyan stated that the parliament should be dissolved in 10 days in order to organize snap elections until June 1.

Opposition Prosperous Armenia party leader Gagik Tsarukyan agrees with holding snap elections. This stance is different from the demand of the Homeland Salvation Movement which Prosperous Armenia is a part of.

The movement has the following agenda – the resignation of the prime minister and the formation of an interim government. Ishkhan Saghatelyan, the coordinator of the movement, states that the only roadmap they will discuss with the president is the one proposed by the movement. Until then, they will continue their rallies. 

The president also held meetings with prime minister Pashinyan and the head of the leading My Step alliance Lilit Makunts to discuss early parliamentary elections and how to reach a dialogue between parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces. 

While it is the leading party that seems to be promoting the idea of snap elections, they are also the ones artificially delaying the process. 

On March 15, the NA Standing Committee on Defense and Security refused to lift the martial law. The parliamentary opposition calls for lifting the martial law but keeps receiving a negative conclusion with no grounded statement as to why it still needs to be in effect.

As the leading faction doesn’t clarify their decision, there is only one thing for the opposition left to assume. The leading party keeps martial law in effect for the sole purpose of delaying snap elections and restraining the power of the opposition.