Almost a year after the beginning of the resistance movement, the opposition is once again preparing to start the process of removing Pashinyan from power.
Although the previous two attempts failed, the demand for a change of power is gaining more and more public support. It is expected that in the coming days the opposition will announce about initiating a new movement aimed at the change of power and starting actions.
The first attempt at the change of power was the movement to save the Motherland. In December 2020, 17 opposition parties announced the initiation of a movement to save the Motherland, the goal of which was declared to be “constitutionally getting rid of the disastrous administration of Armenia by creating a transitional, anti-crisis government.” On the one hand, little time had passed since Pashinyan’s capitulation, signed on November 9, and a large mass of society did not accept the idea of defeat and national humiliation, demanding the removal of the government responsible for it. On the other hand, the defeat, the grief of thousands of victims, the search for the missing and the captured caused a feeling of fear and uncertainty about the resumption of the war in the society.
Pashinyan offered to express no confidence in him and resolve the power issue through extraordinary parliamentary elections. From the beginning, the Movement for the Salvation of the Fatherland did not intend to follow the Pashinyan scenario, understanding that the government will use the leverage it has to reproduce itself, but some parties included in the movement considered that the elections are also a constitutional opportunity to take the power and accepted the offer to participate in the early elections, as a result of which the Movement split, his declared goal was not realized.
The next attempt at a change of power was the Resistance movement initiated by the opposition in April 2022, which began with the chairman of Hayrenik Party, Artur Vanetsyan, starting a sit-in in Liberty Square demanding a change of power, followed by a message from the representative of the ARF Supreme Body, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, calling for a change of power. “We, with our team, with all our resources, with thousands of our compatriots and supporters, are going out into the street struggle, we are going down to the streets in order to remove these anti-national and nation-destroying authorities,” the message said. The street struggle that lasted almost two months was unsuccessful. the rallies called by the opposition, which were crowded at the beginning, later lost public interest,
Those people who are now actively discussing the issue of starting a new movement aimed at the change of power, claiming that this one will last very short and will be crowned with success, justify that now the situation has changed significantly. First, over the past two and a half years, the government has lost a significant portion of public support. If in the past the government organized rallies to demonstrate its public support, now the government cannot gather even a thousand people without using administrative resources. Almost all of Pashinyan’s “public” contacts, even those that have been pre-screened and instructed, end in scandal and arrest.
After the war, the society believed that by accepting the results of the defeat, it is possible to avoid a new war and new losses. The implementation of the change of power by the opposition was seen as a manifestation of revanchism, especially since Pashinyan had declared himself a supporter of peace, a guarantor of the so-called “peace agenda”. During this time, the public consciousness began to understand that it is not possible to achieve peace with the psychology of a loser and begging for peace. On the contrary, the enemy takes it as a sign of weakness, initiating new attacks, as a result of which we have hundreds of victims and wounded.
The other thesis put forward by Pashinyan – let’s give Artsakh to Azerbaijan, save Armenia – also proved its bankruptcy. Even those citizens of Armenia who believed and supported this thesis began to understand that Azerbaijan’s ambitions do not end only with Artsakh, and the next target may be their city, village or their own home. Tens of thousands of people began to publicly and not so much regret that they believed in Pashinyan and voted for him and his party.
Regarding the danger and inadmissibility of Pashinyan’s further tenure, there is also a consensus among the representatives of big business, because people understand that the government’s willingness to join the anti-Russian sanctions, which is more often talked about as a promise already made to the West, can significantly worsen Armenia’s economic situation, leading to bankruptcy. and destroying tens of hundreds of companies in industry, agriculture, fish industry, trade and service sector. The activity of the Armenian economy is based not only on cheap Russian energy carriers, but also on the Russian market. The Russian response to the decision of the RA authorities to join the Western sanctions can destroy the current economic system of Armenia.
The representatives of the opposition claim that, unlike the previous two attempts, this time they were better prepared, a lot of organizational work was done to make the rallies more massive. They are convinced that strong public pressure will force the government to abandon the use of force and violence, and ultimately they will succeed in forcing Pashinyan to resign. The only danger is that if this one attempt ends in failure, it will give Pashinyan the opportunity to more freely implement his promises and intentions to various parties, using public apathy and lack of resistance.