As tensions around the situation escalate among the political parties and the nation, the resignation of the current prime minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan becomes a matter of heated debates and protests.
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.
The fact that months or less are left until Pashinyan PM and his team resign is nearly conformed by the latest speech of the president of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian. The president emphasized the urgency of creating a ‘National Consensus Government’.
As the country is currently in a state of shock, elections should be avoided for now.
The National Consensus Government, as said, should be composed of top-quality professionals to provide solutions for the existing problems and the emerging ones.
In the meantime, 17 political parties demand Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation from the premiership, claiming that none of them are after power.
So, the biggest question comes up. Who will succeed Nikol Pashinyan?
The truth is, there aren’t too many candidates. Or at least, not many that the people of Armenia and the diaspora approve of.
The protests organized by the 17 parties are not very crowded. While the prevailing majority of Armenians want the losing leader and the government to resign, they don’t want the ‘old regimen’ back. And this is exactly what Armenians associate the 17 parties with, among which is the Republican Party of Armenia that was rejected back in 2018.
Armenia Is Country of Destination, Country Of Transit & Country Of OriginA country in process of change – People want to be part of the change
Now, that people want the resignation of their candidate, they don’t know who will come next.
The somewhat fanciful fear of the former authorities seems to be bigger than the rational panic of losing the homeland.
When it comes to the possible candidates for a temporary PM, there aren’t too many options, possibilities, and assumptions.
Rumors spread about the suggestions of the 17 parties being Vazgen Manukyan, the former prime minister (1990-1991) and the minister of defense (1992-1993) of Armenia, and Artur Vanetsyan, the former director of the National Security Service and the leader of the ‘Homeland’ party.
According to some sources, Hrant Bagratyan, the minister of economy (1991-1993) and the former prime minister of Armenia (1993-1996) is a candidate the political parties calling for Pashinyan’s resignation are suggesting.
While many people don’t see Bagratyan in the role of the PM, it is a fact that many affirmations the former prime minister made in his controversial interviews a few months ago turned out true. Azerbaijan didn’t let the moment slip as Armenia was weakened by the economic consequences of COVID-19, although the war had most likely been planned long ago.
As the economic situation is worsened due to the 44-day war, and there is still a lot to be taken care of, the candidacy of Hrant Bagratyan, a former PM and mastermind in economy, could be considered.
If not a temporary replacement for Pashinyan, Bagratyan can still have his contribution to getting out of the crisis given a position in the government.
Almost all candidates being rejected, people are looking for other options. someone that isn’t closely tied neither with the present clan nor to the past authorities.
As the magical appearance of ‘new’ politicians holding legitimate power is nearly impossible, people have started looking into candidates that are not only accepted by the society but also qualified to solve the urgent issues caused by the document of capitulation. And most importantly, to further negotiate with Baku.
Among such candidates is Raffi Hovhannisian, the first foreign minister of Armenia and the co-founder of the ‘Heritage’ party.
While Hovahnnisian has been silent in the last few months and only published an article in New York Post on war, many remember the remarks he made about the risks Pashinyan’s government was running in an interview with Shant Tv in January 2020.
Hovhannisian then warned about the upcoming war, stating that on the background of Turkey and Azerbaijan getting more and more aggressive, the ambiguous expressions of the PM of Armenia could eventually lead to unfavorable conditions for negotiations and the authorities of Nagorno Karabakh themselves.
As Hovhannisian stated, Pashinyan’s approach that the solution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be acceptable not only for Armenians and Artsakhians but the people of Azerbaijan as well could be misinterpreted. In the meantime, Ilham Aliyev demanded capitulation.
In another interview, back in December 2019, Hovhannissian did express his concerns about the unfavorable geopolitical situation and the urgency of Pashinyan and his government taking steps toward improving it.
As a presidential candidate in 2013 that got over half a million votes (over 35%), falling behind only the winning candidate Serzh Sargsyan, Hovannisian could be the one to bring balance to the unsteady political field.
Another solution is bringing to power someone outside the political scandals and with a ‘neutral’ stance.
Arman Tatoyan, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, can be the candidate to not only help the authorities to overcome the turbulences but also satisfy a vast majority of people.
As many have been satisfied with Ombudsman’s service during the war and after it, as well as with his impartial observations on the situation currently, Tatoyan can be the short-term prime minister to bring stability.
In any case, the country is now on the verge of collapse. With so many challenges ahead and the society being so demoralized, any leader to succeed Pashinyan will hardly ‘enjoy’ the position.
The question is, who can save the situation from getting worse? And who can create a new ideology to bring the disunited society back together?