Kocharyan Trial Suspended in the Wake of Pashinyan-Court Standoff

Robert Kocharyan pictured in court, May 2019 (Photo: ARMENPRESS)

YEREVAN—An Armenian court confirmed on Tuesday that it was suspending the trial of former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and forwarding the matter to Armenia’s Constitutional Court for review. In a controversial verdict over the weekend, Justice Davit Grigoryan, the presiding judge in the case, again released the 65 year-old former head of state from pretrial detention, sparking protests across the country. The judge claimed to have acted partially on the personal guarantees of Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan and former Artsakh President Arkadi Ghukasyan that Kocharyan would behave if released.

Kocharyan, as well as three other former officials in his administration—Armen Gevorgyan, General Yuri Khachaturov and former Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan—have been charged with usurping state power during the March 1, 2008 post-election protests. At least 10 people including eight civilians and two police officers died during the government’s suppression of post-election unrest following the election of Serge Sarkisian. The ex-president is also being charged with corruption.

Many in Armenia, including the families of the victims, personally blame the former president of ordering the violent crackdown. Kocharyan and his supporters have retorted that these accusations are nothing more than a political vendetta by the new authorities. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who came to office following last year’s peaceful Velvet Revolution, was among the organizers of the March 1 protests and spent two years in prison following those events.

Ever since Kocharyan was first apprehended by authorities, there have been questions about whether or not a former president can even be charged under Article 300 of the Criminal Code (Usurping State Power) since he theoretically enjoys immunity from prosecution. A spokesman for Justice Davit Grigoryan explained that it was on this basis the court chose to release the former president on May 18.

Pashinyan, reacting to news of the release over the weekend, appealed to the nation to block access to all court houses across the country until noon the following Monday. He argued that despite the gains since the Velvet Revolution, the judicial system does not enjoy the trust of the people, nor does it respect constitution. “The people of Armenia continue to perceive the judiciary as a leftover of the former corrupt regime that continues to plot and execute deceptions against the people,” said Pashinyan, who also called for the resignation of the country’s sitting judges and a new vetting process for new judges. He declared on Facebook that the next phase of the Velvet Revolution will take the form of judicial reform.

While the Prime Minister’s comments were met with enthusiasm by some of his supporters, they  also proved to be divisive. Few questioned the need for judicial reform, but many found issue with the timing: in the wake of an unfavorable court ruling. A number of analysts criticized the actions of the Prime Minister, characterizing him as more of a revolutionary than a statesman.

This sentiment was echoed among Armenia’s political class. Arman Tatoyan, Armenia’s Human Rights ombudsman reminded the prime minister that the heads of each branch of government have the responsibility to respect each other’s authority in accordance with the Constitution. Tatoyan did not deny the need for justice reform.

Edmon Marukian, leader of the opposition Bright Armenia Party, joined his counterparts from the Prosperous Armenia Party on Monday to condemn the prime minister’s call to block access to courthouses. Marukian also demanded an emergency parliamentary session, arguing that Pashinyan’s call to action was unconstitutional. His comments have received support from across the aisle including some members of the prime minister’s My Step parliamentary faction. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) followed suit with a statement condemning Pashinyan’s “step taken against the constitutional order.”

The United States, for its part, urged the Armenian government to pursue judicial reform within the confines of constitutional legitimacy. The US Embassy in Yerevan issued a statement pledging its continued support for justice reform in Armenia, but warned that the process “requires determination, vigilance and a long-term strategy to build transparent and accountable government institutions.”

Some have defended the prime minister’s demands as absolutely necessary. Vahe Grigoryan, the prominent lawyer representing the families of the March 1 victims, believes that these actions could not have come sooner. He argues that the judges have long been instruments of the previous regime who have caused much injustice and suffering among the Armenian people. “I have hope that a new course of reforms will start in Armenia today,” said Grigoryan.

Tensions have been building in recent weeks, both inside and outside the courthouse over the issue of Kocharyan’s trial. During last week’s hearings, a small crowd of the ex-president’s supporters gathered outside the building were met by a much larger crowd of counter-protesters. By the end of the week cheers and insults quickly degenerated into pushing and shoving.

Vardges Gaspari, a well-known activist, who had been arrested during the events of March 1, 2008, received a severe wound when a Kocharyan supporter smashed his face with a glass bottle. His alleged assailant, Armen Tavadian, was charged with grave hooliganism and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. Incidentally, Tavadian is the official owner of Channel 5, which the former president is suspected of being a shareholder.

Some of Kocharyan’s critics took their anger out in other ways. Former ARF Bureau chairperson Hrant Markarian was verbally assaulted by a mob while walking with his grandchildren in Yerevan’s Freedom Square on Saturday. Many among the crowd which included families of the victims from the deadly March 1 clashes hurled insults at the former parliamentarian, calling him a traitor and a Turk. The crowd was dispersed by police. The ARF Central Bureau strongly condemned this incident and called on authorities to investigate the matter.

Markarian’s party has been criticized for its perceived ties to Robert Kocharyan dating back to his presidency. ARF Bureau president Armen Rustamyan, however, has firmly rejected allegations that his party is protecting the former president. In a statement, he explained that the ARF is concerned with “protecting our judiciary and justice. We will continue with the same logic that those who are guilty should be held accountable regardless of their position and status. We will continue to maintain this approach.”

The ARF has voiced its concern over what it sees as increasing polarization among Armenians and a lack of tolerance displayed by the Prime Minister when using populist rhetoric to fuel mob rule in the country. ARF Supreme Body representative Ishkhan Saghatelyan called for a rally to be held at 7 PM Yerevan time on May 23.

The prosecutor’s office announced that it would be challenging the court’s decision to release Kocharyan.

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Raffi Elliott

Columnist & Armenia Correspondent
Raffi Elliott is a Canadian-Armenian political risk analyst and journalist based in Yerevan, Armenia. As correspondent and columnist for the Armenian Weekly, he covers socioeconomic, political, business and diplomatic issues in Armenia, with occasional thoughts on culture and urbanism.

25 Comments

  1. This conflict was inevitable. The counter revolutionary forces are regrouping. Pashinyan is walking
    a fine balance between cleaning up the judiciary , which is not elected and being viewed as being personally
    motivated in the Kocharyan case. The latter issue will limit his support from those advocate constitutional
    conformance and issues of personalities.
    These issues must be settled in the courts not on the streets but the court must be impartial.
    For that Pashinyan is correct, it his action must be in line with his role as Prime Minister not revolutionary.
    The honeymoon is officially over. As extraordinary as the progress has been, governing is a lot more difficult than
    revolution.

  2. Strangely, not long ago, Nikol claimed that the country was now freed from corruption and all of the sudden all the judiciary system became corrupt and untrustworthy… Typical lunatic raising more doubts about his mental sanity.
    I reckon that the angry discourse of Nikol was messy, still Elliott failed to report the most dangerous and irresponsible statement about Artsakh. One year ahead of presidential and legislative elections in Artsakh, Pashynian found nothing better to call for overthrowing the present gvt in Stepanakert. Give a child a gun, he will shoot blindly and will end up by harming himself.

  3. President Robert Kocharyan was by far the best leader post-Soviet Armenia had. The case against him is nothing but the personal vendetta of Levon and Nikol, those who started the violent uprising in 2008. I hope to see Kocharyan as President of Artsakh soon as Armenian statehood is slowly imploding. Yesterday, Armenia may have been in the hands of Robber Barons. Today, Armenia is in the hands of Western funded anti-nationalist, anti-Church and anti-Russian mercenaries. The country today is on a very dangerous road and we Armenians, with our political literacy, tribalism, materialism, jealousy and arrogance, are the ones that put it there…

    • Your description of Armenians is very accurate, unfortunately. Interesting how we can simultaneously be intelligent, highly capable and hard-working — AND — highly impulsive, politically illiterate, short sighted…whjich most people are in general.

  4. Pashinyan ran on the anti-corruption platform. He succeeded. He is doing what he promised to do and what the people of Armenia elected him to do, to wit, clean house. It will get messy but ultimately the country will win. The old regime is at its death bed.

    • Your comment is very divisive. Suggesting Criminal Kocharyan as president of Artsakh you are creating two opposing Armenian Republics which is not and will never be acceptable because Artsakh is indivisible part of Armenia. I do not know your political orientation. However making such irrational suggestion reveals your political immaturity. You are playing very mortal Russian Roulette.

    • Dear friends of THE ARMENIAN WEEKLY it is two days now that I have posted my comments in the relative section R. Elliot’s articel on Kotcharyan trial) and it appears for reasons that you deem right not to be published.
      If I am correct in my assessment then I would say honestly that I consider your decision impartial, prejudice and rude to some extent.
      For these reasons I cannot accept your judgment as I said it is impartial and prejudice and I will ask you to cross me out from your list of subscribers and quit sending me your publication.
      I thank you so far for your cooperation.
      Haig Karayan.

    • Our apologies, Haig. The moderator of these comments was in Pennsylvania over the weekend for AYF Junior Seminar. Thank you for your understanding.

    • Your lacl of understanding for what a “regime” is actually like decreases the reliability in your use of the word.

  5. Mr. Elliot the fact of the matter is that unfortunately KOTCHARYAN is the most CORRUPTED POLITICAL FIGURE along with others in the REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA.
    KOTCARYAN along with others during the last twenty years have ruled the country with an iron feast and mafia whims.
    KOTCHARYAN is accused for “OVERTHROOWING CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER IN MAY 2008, UNLAWFULLY USING THE SECURITY FORCES AGAINST INNOCENT ARMENIANS KILLING 11 AND ALSO HAVING TAKEN LARGE BRIBERY.
    THE CURRENT PRESIDENT AND THE EX.PRESIDENT OF ARTSAKH unfortunately are part of this MAFIA OF CORRUPTION.
    THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM NEEDS AND URGENTLY A THOROUGH REFORM AND VETTING OF JUDJES WITH THE SCOPE TO RENDER OBJECTIVE AND IMPARTIAL JUSTICE.
    Unfortunately CORRUPTION has deep foundations in all facets of the governance and I consider it a MENACE for the future and the wellfare of the country and its people.
    ALL THESE POLITICAL FIGURES WHO ARE ACCUSED OF UNLAWFULL ACTIONS MUST BE GIVEN A FAIR AND JUST TRIAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ARMENIAN CONSTITUTION AND THE RULE OF LAW AND SHOULD BE DONE WITHOUT UNJUSTIFIED DELAYS AS OTHERWISE THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE WOULD GROW ANIMOCITY AGAINST EACH OTHER AND NO DOUBT WOULD DERAIL THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN THE COUNTRY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF PASHINIAN AND THE HEROIC ARMENIAN WHO TOOK TO THE STREETS AND CAME OUT TRIUMPHANT WITH THEIR PEACEFUL AND VELVET REVOLUTION.
    POLITICAL AND ECONOMI CORRUPTION GO HAND IN HAND IN ARMENIA AND HAS DEEP ROOTS WHICH MUST BE ERADICATED AND THOSE FOUND GUILTY MUST BE PUNISHED SEVERELY AND MUST PAY BACK THE MILLIONS ROBBED FROM THE WEALTH OF THE STATE.
    IT IS NOW OR NEVER AND THE IMPLICATIONS IN CASE OF FAILURE WOULD BE EMMENSE.

  6. KOTCHARYAN IS BY FAR THE MOST CORRUPTED POLITICAL PERSON OF ARMENIA AND ONE THAT CAN BE EASILY COMPARED WITH THE CORRUPTION IN PRESENT RUSSIA.
    POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CORRUPTION IS A WELL ESTABLISHED SYSTEM NOW IN ARMENIA AND THE WORK OF THE PRESEN GOVERNMENT WILL BE TOUGH TO ERADICATE THIS MENACE FROM THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE.
    THE ROOTS ARE SO DEEP THAT YOU SEE THE CURRENT AND EX. PRESIDINT OF ARTSAKH BLUNTLY TAKING SIDE IN FAVOR OF THE MOST CORRUPTED POLITICAL FIGURE OF ARMENIA.
    ONLY IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN IN ARMENIAN FOR AN HOUR AT LEAST YOU CAN ADVOCATE IN FAVOR OF KOTCHARYAN AND THE REST OF THE MAFIA WHICH RULED WITH AN IRON FEAST THE LAST TWENTY PLUS YEARS IN ARMENIA AND ROBBED AS WELL ITS WEALTH WHICH IS PROBABLY NOW IN OFFSHORE ACCTS. IN DIFFERENT SO CALLED “PARADISES”.
    THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM OF ARMENIA SUCKS AND SHOULD BE REFORMED DEMOCRATICALLY AND JUSTLY BY IMPLEMENTING PROPER EVALUATION AND VETTING.
    THIS MENACE MUST BE ERADICATED SOONEST AS OTHERWISE THE CORRUPTED FORCES WILL BE ABLE TO REUNITE AND OBSTRUCT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS FORWARD IN ARMENIA WITH UNPRECEDENTED CONSEQUENCES.

  7. will the reality is kicking, and the people who have called pashinyan as saviour soon realise he is nothing than a useless barking.

    already the people in yerevan had enough of him with crazy taxations and hooliganism far worse than before.
    well this country will never get better until the diaspora …I mean ALL the diaspora takes over from these caucasian gangsters. Some people still incriminate Russia…. well where is Russia? you see we need Russia otherwise we will eat each other!!!!!

    Russia is fair in raping these armenian mountainous pigs on a daily basis. Fair play Russia. The armenians are not fit for government!

    • Reading Mr. Shahe’s reply, I conclude that he sound like a ”paid” mercenary and street gang who is spreading hate. Calling the residence of Yerevan ”hooligans” is an insult to the entire country of Armenia. Mr. Shahe first should address the second and the third presidents’ corrupt and criminal method of government instead of criticizing the current government. A constructive suggestion for Mr. shahe would be to comment of Russian-Turkish relationship vis-a-vis the Republic of Armenia.

  8. Despite a sharp slowdown in mining which has been destroying environment for decades, Armenia managed to have more than 7 percent economic growth in the first quarter. For the first time in a decade, Armenia’s public debt is flat, in reality it even decreased a bit the last few months. This is despite the fact that one of the first things that Pashinian did after becoming PM was to significantly increase the military budget, not only blabbing out nonsense about the “most combat ready” army in the region but realizing that you need to spend if you are going to compete with your aggressive neighbors. The old dinosaurs are so desperate that they can’t find anything to talk about except LGBT! Talk of transitional justice makes them even more nervous. Maybe, businessman Kocharyan, oops I mean president Kocharyan will finally tell us how he manages to vacation a whole month in Southern Europe. I certainly can’t afford that with my US salary. Apart from judicial reforms which are going to be done in full cooperation with European institutions, Armenian parliament should adopt a law barring all those who are on a foreign company’s payroll from running for parliament for at least 10 years. You can’t literally receive money from your northern daddy and be loyal to your country.

    • 1/ 7% vs 9% economic growth Q1 2018…. still far away from the growth registered under Rob. FYI. But its ok, since Nikol now claim that poverty is in our head haha.
      2/ Public debt is not flat. It will sharply increase in 2019 to reach 7.5 billions and it was provisionned in the 2019 budget that will, btw, hit record high deficit. Its the debt servicing that will be flat but this has nothing to do with Nikol, it was planned as such long time ago by previous gvt.
      3/ Increasing military budget is good, increasing soldiers salaries better, but if this does not materialize by concrete military hardware and reinforcing the front line, its just another form of corruption: buying the silence of the army while hopping they ll not stand up when he will force for surrending lands now vs promise of peace later. Which is (another one out of many) miscalculation. I however trust Tonoyan, so far.
      4/ The holydays in Europe you cannot afford, you are touching here the very specific reason why “corruption” became the magical word so that every simple minded angry citizen could put the blame of their own failures on the gvt. This will ultimately turn against Pashinyan when the angry simple minded will realize that their personnal finance is not doing better and they just changed a regime for another one.
      5/ The judges vetting is a huge blow to the most basic democratic rule, separation of justice and executive. Its not a coincidence it came immediatly after the fully legal decision of releasing Kocharyan (see Haytoug resume above). It is a typical dictatorial move against a judge that was considered to be HHK pain in the a** . It was received with heavy criticism from UE parliament members, PACE, Freedom house just to name a few….
      6) You dont want this to happen, the main victims of this foreign company payroll stuff, already applied by Putin, will be Nikol himself. Haykakan Zhamanak, the low class tabloid he comes from, is the first media recipient of ” open society”….
      Finally, diaspora Armenians will have to choose. Interest of Armenia is not necessarily interest of US, Europe or Russia. Diaspora Armenians remains for me foreign to Armenia, with agendas that will ultimately be harmfull for us.

    • Yes, I remember the “growth” under Kocharyan. I also remember how the so-called “Caucasian tiger” turned into pussycat overnight. The Russian economy was booming, transfers were surging and Armenia’s debt and military expenditure were extremely low, no competition with pre oil boom Azerbaijan. It was perfect time to embark on structural reforms, fight corruption and monopolies and improve taxation. Instead Kocharyan the genius, created a construction bubble which exploded with the global recession. Nowhere in the world, with the exception of corrupt Ukraine, the recession led to that kind of double digit economic contraction. That is the true legacy of Kocharyan. And then it was Serjiks turn to do his damage by quadrupling the debt, embezzling billions on a public sector he constantly used for his reelection. The only major driver of the economy during his tenure was mining that has extremely damaging impact on environment and health. Is it a coincidence that Armenia has one of the highest rates of child cancer in the world. Today it is obvious that even the agricultural growth figures they were presenting were all fake. Huge amounts of vegetable and fruits were imported from European countries and reexported to Russia by oligarchs close to Serjik, without paying taxes and presenting it as Armenian products. That is a summary of 20 years of Armenia’s economic performance. I specifically mentioned the mining sector to highlight how Pashinian managed to neutralize its impact on economy by restoring confidence in economy and registering high growth in services.

      I am surprised that you live in Armenia yet you don’t follow the news. The 7.5 billion you mentioned is merely PROJECTION. If you are interested in today’s numbers and outlook you can read these:

      https://arka.am/en/news/economy/armenia_s_overall_public_debt_drops_by_34_7_million_in_april_2019/

      https://news.am/eng/news/514922.html

      I can only hope that you are not going to claim that ARKA and Fitch work for satanic Soros! I am also aware of a recent STAND-BY agreement with IMF for a new loan. Unlike the previous governments which had a special gift for hoarding loans, Pashinian’s government is not even rushing to use that money.

      Increasing soldiers salaries is another form of corruption?!!! Indeed, you have a very unique definition for corruption. I tend to judge leaders based on their performance. What happened in April 2016 was enough to destroy the myth of Sarkissyan the reliable commander. After all, we all saw how our soldiers were relying on empty cans as an early warning measure instead of night vision equipment. I have no reason to think that Armenia is not acquiring the necessary weaponry under Pashinian.

      You can keep sugarcoating corruption as much as you wan but in the end of the day corruption is corruption. Kocharyan came from Artsakh penniless and left the presidential office with many businesses, living a luxurious life. That is fact.

      Vetting is a normal procedure implemented throughout the world. It is common even in some of well-established democracies in the world. There was no “heavy criticism” from the institutions you mentioned. In fact, they all declared their readiness to assist Armenia in the process. I was just reading the head of Venice commission’s letter sent to Pashinian regarding the vetting and judiciary reform. I did not see any “heavy criticism” there, only readiness to assist Armenia in the framework of Armenian law. Needless to say that Kocharyan’s release once again showed the huge changes Armenia has gone through the last year. During Kocharyan’s tenure people could only dream about judges going against the executive branch. Now that you mentioned European institutions, you might want to also mention their assessments of the situation in Armenia during Kocharyan’s presidency.

      With all due respect, I don’t give a fig about what you think of diaspora Armenians. I am a proud citizen of the Republic of Armenia and I don’t need anyone’s permission to express my thoughts. Now, you can go back to sugarcoating corruption.

  9. ritooli,” Armenian Parliament should adopt a law barring all those who are on a foreign company’s payroll”.
    Great idea ritooli, let’s start with your boss Pashinyan first. After all he’s on George Soro’s payroll.

    • Give me facts. You don’t have it! I will respectfully ignore your comments till you present evidence suggesting links between Pashinian and Soros. I have absolutely no intention to waste my time on liars.

  10. How about I provide you some names instead, that might help energize your memory:
    Levon Barseghyan and Daniel Ionnnisyan, both active supporters of regime change. Here’s more, just to name a few:
    Marisa Minasyan, SOS Avetisyan, Johannes Hovanisyan, Arevik Nipsan, Gayaneh Abrahamyan, Takuhi Kazaryan, and Nikol Pashinyan ( Armenia’s Idol ) . What do all these people have in common? They are all members of Armenia’s Parliament presenting ‘ My Step’ faction and every single one of them had been receiving funds from George Soros foundation; the Open Society Foundation. BTW, do you recall the infamous leaked audio recording of a phone conversation between Sasun Kachatryan, the Special Investigation Service, and Artur Vanetsyan, the National Security Service,in which they are discussing about locking up Robert, Yuri,and Seyran? Yep, you guessed it right, Sasun and Artur had been on Soros payroll too. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about Kocharyan being locked up again, because a new government change is coming soon and it Won’t be too long.

  11. ritooli these people are not reasonable. they will argue and try to defend everything no matter how untenable and illogical it seems. very interesting behavior. questionable motives. anyway, dont let them drive you crazy.

  12. ritooli, ” Armenia managed to have more than seven percent economic growth…”. Suuuuuuuuuuuuure, and that is the reason why large number of financial resources flowing out of Armenia, right? Citizens are withdrawing nearly $100 million dollars out of Armenia through the banking system every month, because of 7 percent economic growth, right? Lol… Since Nikol’s power grab in 2018, previously launched projects by Sargsyan government, has been suspended, and Interestingly enough, more investors are losing confidence in this incompetent and inexperienced regime and have terminated their plans of any potential projects they may have had reserved for the future. Let’s not forget, about Eight thousand citizens have left the country since Soros’ regime taking over the country. Since, Nikol, failed to ensure economic and social progress in the country, he is now targeting the judiciary system in order to distract the public attention and to justify the absence of investments such as,” 7 % economic growth”. Also, pertaining the Venice Commision? Nikol received a letter containing harsh assesments from the Venice Commission condeming Nikol’s decision to block the entrances and exits of courthouses throughout Armenia. The Commission is preparing to issue a statement and send relevant letters to various international organizations. As I have said before, government change is coming soon and won’t be too long. Hurry back Kocharyan.

  13. Keep calm Ritooli. Like most of Pashinyan hard supporters, you suffer from narrow vision, intellectual dishonesty, lack of basic knowledge and incapacity to face the truth. Me, I have enough critical sense and distance to politics to acknowledge some things you say are true.

    You are coming with GDP figures, im just saying there is nothing exceptional in this growth, which dont yet compensate the slowdown of Q2,3,4. I know very well that growth under Rob was not qualitative nor sustainable, although we cannot forget the fact it was exponential and that in 2003 his gvt, not another, lay down the basis for the establishment of a real IT sector that Nikol is benefiting today. For 2019 Armenia, domestic consumption is fuelling the growth. Its not very reliable, specially since imports are sharply increasing while exports decreased. Nothing to brag about contrary to what you may say.

    As far as debt is concerned, I didn’t bothered to read the articles because I know well how international finance and rating works. Go back and find out Armenia rating in 2008. You can be sure that the actual 2019 debt will correspond to the projection. IMF just announced they will shortly deliver 250m usd, EADB will come soon. So far the debt goes as per the projection and be sure it will come close to 7.5b by 31.12.2019. Still manageable levels though, I have no problem with that. The irony is that we have heard Pashinyan crying for years on public debt, and he is now doing the same. See you in December to talk about that.

    As for corruption, it can take many forms. In US its called lobbying. You can change the men, but the mentality will remain the same. Ask David Shahnazarian. You know him right? You cannot against corruption by changing men without touching to education, law, public awareness etc… Also in Armenia there is much more talk about corruption than there is actual corruption. Its a fact that Nikol promised us 800M USD min from corruption the first year. Where do we stand? They are struggling like hell to get 50M. Oligarch is also the other magical word. What happened to them? Nothing. Is Rob charged for corruption? No. Is Armenia getting rid of its feudal mentality? No. Pashinyan show us everyday he is himself acting as a Lord through his declarations and his appointments.

    If you think people are happy with Nikol and opponents just have the LGBT issue to complain about, then you are living in a bubble. I dont know where to start… Nikol claimed last week 51000 jobs were created. I know Americans have some special relationships with reality, facts and truth, specially since Trump. But here people (the famous “jorovurt” so dear to Nikol) start making fun about that.

    They also make fun about his agricultural policy (“keep sheeps”), his international policy (opposing Armenia joining EAU when in the opposition while now he is willing to reinforce Armenia place in it), they are waiting for the cheap Iranian gas he was claiming previous authorities where depriving the people from. My neighbour who have a “duxov” sticker on his car recently told me “at least supermama shall try to deal with zibil the way Serj was doing it”. The honey moon lasted 5 months.

    See what bothers me with Nikol, if we make abstraction of his low intellectual level, his admiration for LTP, and that he is coming from this intelligentsia I despise that would give away Artsakh against some kopeks, is this heavy populism that consist of promising things that he will not get or lying to get what he wants. What can we expect more since his only accomplishment was spreading lies in a low class tabloid?

    Nikol is drifting in the dark, there is no vision to lower the external commerce deficit or to substitute imports with local products, no plan to support the IT development (all the interesting measures such as Armlab etc where done by previous gvt), no plan for education (RIP Ararat curriculum or chess schools), no plan for job creation, nothing…. the only thing that shall save him is a positive international environment. I might be wrong though, lets give him time, and in which case I ll have no problem to acknowledge it, but im affraid and quite sure im right. I really dont want him to end like Saakashvilli (what happened to this anti corruption white knight?) but he is going straight to it.

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