The deepening post-war crisis and the increasing tensions have made many ruling party members leave their posts. Within the past few months, multiple parliament members have left the ruling ‘My Step’ faction.
While many would think that those still making part of the authorities won’t like to be a part of it for the second term, the electoral list of Pashinyan’s party proves the opposite. The authorities that have lost the war, continue to deepen the internal problems of the country, and even fail to solve such urgent issues as returning the Armenian prisoners of war still have loyal team members.
Surprisingly or not, the caretaker prime minister Nikol Pashinyan’s electoral list contains lots of familiar names. The list of the ‘Civil Contract’ party, headed by Pashinyan has one hundred names many of which are those who are in the parliament at present.
While Pashinyan’s support team has not been very stable recently, a few members of the ‘Civil Contract’ party seem to show unconditional support to the caretaker PM despite his declining reputation.
Ararat Mirzoyan comes second in the electoral list of Nikol Pashinyan’s party. Mirzoyan is one of the founding members of the ‘Civil Contract’ political party. Being one of the faces of the 2018 Velvet Revolution, it was not surprising that Mirzoyan was appointed the president of the National Assembly of Armenia.
Ararat Mirozyan’s political career is not long and influential. Before being appointed the president of the parliament, Mirzoyan ran under the ‘Way Out’ alliance during the 2017 parliamentary elections. One of the leaders of this alliance was Nikol Pashinyan.
Prior to his involvement in politics, Ararat Mirzoyan worked in various areas. For a certain period of time, Mirzoyan worked at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute which is closely linked to a recent scandal involving him.
Earlier in 2021, a handwritten letter was leaked according to which Ararat Mirzoyan agrees to become an NSS (National Security Service) agent. According to the source introducing the letter, Mirzoyan was pressured to become an NSS agent after NSS had discovered that he was spying for Turkey.
While both Mirzoyan and the NSS initially denied the authenticity of the handwritten document, Mirozyan admitted it in one of his recent interviews.
Lilit Makunts is the current head of the ruling ‘My Step’ faction in the parliament. Before Makunts was appointed in this position, she was Armenia’s Minister of Culture after the Velvet Revolution in April 2018.
With a bachelor’s degree in philology, and having worked as an English teacher and lecturer, many thought Makunts was not competent enough for the position of the minister of culture.
Between 2004 and 2012, Lilit Makunts was a member of the Armenian Liberal Party which made part of the Armenian National Congress between 2008 and 2012. In the 2012 parliamentary elections, Makunts didn’t get a seat in the parliament. However, the parliamentary elections held after the 2018 revolution got her into the parliament. And not as a regular MP but the head of the faction․
According to rumors, Lilit Makunts was to be appointed as the ambassador of Armenia in the United States. The rumors were confirmed by the head of the ruling faction which provoked severe criticism. The parliamentary opposition considered this possible appointment to be rather problematic as having a good command of English doesn’t make Makunts qualified for the position. Lilit Makunts is also underqualified for the positions from the diplomatic aspect of things.
Lilit Makunts is the third on the electoral list of the ‘Civil Contract’ Party.
Alen SImonyan is one of the most prominent and loyal members of Pashinyan’s team. Simonyan was one of the organizers and active participants of the Velvet Revolution led by Pashinyan.
When Pashinyan was elected as the prime minister of Armenia, Alen Simonyan became the Vice President of the National Assembly.
With a background in law and political science, Alen SImonyan has worked at a range of places, from a radio station to a bank, and from magazines to TV companies as a performance director. In the past, Alen Simonyan was also a member of the Yerevan City Council.
Alen SImonyan has always been at the center of attention of media outlets and his controversial statements have often been a topic of public discussion.
Since the beginning of the 44-day war in September 2020, the public has been accusing Alen Simonyan of spreading fake news. It was only recently in May when the vice president of the National Assembly denied the authenticity of a video that was later confirmed to be true by the Ministry of Defense. In that video, Azerbaijani armed forces were beating and humiliating Armenian servicemen within the sovereign territory of Armenia.
Alen Simonyan is number 7 on the electoral list of Pashinyan’s ‘Civil Contract’ party.
Lena Nazaryan is the Vice President of the National Assembly and a board member of the ‘Civil Contract’ party. The politician ran under the ‘Way Out’ alliance during the 2017 parliamentary elections and has been a member of parliament since then.
Nazaryan drew lots of attention to herself in April 2018 when she lighted smoke flares in the National Assembly as a sign of support to Nikol Pashinyan. At the time, Pashinyan was leading protests against Serzh Sargsyan.
Prior to his political career, Lena Nazaryan worked as a journalist for Hetq, an online newspaper. She also worked as a coordinator for election programs.
Lena Nazaryan has received lots of criticism recently for her insensitive comments regarding the Armenian prisoners of war. According to the vice-speaker, the Armenian society should demand the return of the captives from Azerbaijan and not the authorities.
Lena Nazaryan runs sixth in the electoral list of Pashinyan’s party.
Will Pashinyan’s Team Help Him Succeed in the Elections?
Since the 2018 Velvet Revolution, when Nikol Pashinyan seemed to have heroically defeated the corrupted regimen and the unwanted prime minister Serzh Sarkissian, a certain part of the Armenian society has been suffering from the idolatry of the ‘revolutionary’ leader.
The public attitude toward PM Pashinyan has changed dramatically since the end of the war and after it, as it has become clear that the country has lost in war it was never prepared for. Additionally, nearly none of the post-war issues have been solved by the government, including the return of prisoners of war and peace that should have come from the November 9 agreement signed by Nikol Pashinyan.
On the contrary, the country has lost not only the territories of Artsakh but certain parts of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia too. Social, political, and economic problems have been deepening day after day, taking the country into a state of hopeless chaos.
And against the background of such issues, the government, the head of the country Nikol Pashinyan found it appropriate to take Armenia through another shock. The pre-electoral period has created an atmosphere of hatred within the society and caused it to disunite which is certainly not something it needs at such difficult times for the country.
Prime minister Nikol Pashinyan is taking part in the upcoming snap elections with a 100-person list. Many of these people are already members of his team and haven’t acquitted themselves well in their positions, to say the least. Moreover, nearly every member of Pashinyan’s team has been caught up in scandals and heavily criticized.