A leader of the ARF, Armen Rustamyan, accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday of abusing administrative resources and trying to stifle dissent ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
Rustamyam condemned Pashinyan for telling the National Security Service (NSS) to “deal with” politicians accusing him of jeopardizing Armenia’s and Nagorno-Karabakh’s security.
Pashinyan decried over the weekend “false” opposition claims about a government “conspiracy against Karabakh” and a suspension of Russian arms supplies to Armenia. They may amount to high treason, he declared without naming names.
Rustamyam suggested that the premier referred to Dashnaktsutyun as well. “If he didn’t mean us, I would ask him to elaborate on his statement,” he said, adding that the authorities must stop trying to “find traitors” in any case.
“These unaddressed accusations are creating an atmosphere of terror and a situation where we can already speak of unequal conditions and abuse of administrative resources,” he told reporters.
Rustamyam went as far as to draw parallels between Pashinyan and former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, who banned the ARF and had some of its leaders arrested in 1994-1995.
“In the 1990s I was accused of high treason,” he said. “This is Levon Ter-Petrosian’s style. They arrested me but couldn’t prove anything.”
Another ARF leader, Hrant Markarian, is among those critics of the new Armenian government who have claimed that Russian arms deliveries to Armenia stopped after Pashinyan came to power in May. The premier angrily denied Markarian’s claim at the start of his election campaign last week.
For his part, Rustamyam said on November 26 that Pashinyan’s government may be trying to “replace old political and economic monopolies with new ones.”