Along with the decline of Nikol Pashinyan’s rating, the circle of his so-called supporting extra-parliamentary parties is also shrinking.
The previous day, only 5 party leaders went to the meeting with Pashinyan. Tigran Khzmalyan, the chairman of the European Party, boycotted the meeting with Pashinyan this time. According to our information, Khzmalyan considered that he cannot have a discussion with a person who, the previous day, on May 9, accepted the invitation of the Russian President Vladimir Putin and attended the military parade organized on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of the victory of the USSR. Such a move by Khzmalyan can only be welcomed. after all, it speaks of his principles for the sake of ideas, for which he sacrificed good relations with the head of power.
Pashinyan’s extra-parliamentary entourage consists exclusively of businessmen, who, despite being called party leaders, actually use these parties as a roof for their business. It is not important for them who Pashinyan will meet, on what occasion or what statement he will make afterwards, they unconditionally support Pashinyan, because in return for this support they provide favorable conditions for their business.
The clearest example is Aram Sargsyan, head of the “Republic” party. It seems that he is the head of the party, comments on various political issues, voices his opinion, participates in elections. But he got into politics as a result of chance, after October 27, 1999, when in order to ensure internal political stability, some circles proposed to appoint the brother of the murdered prime minister to his position. Before that, he worked as a director of the Ararat cement factory. Then he privatized the cement factory and started producing kir. There are two cement factories in Ararat – new and old. Aram Sargsyan got the old factory. The kir produced in Sargsyan’s factory is used in the mining industry, and in order for mining companies to buy that kir, Sargsyan must have good relations with the government. It has always been like that in Armenia. if you’re bad with the government, you can’t make money. Aram Sargsyan is also engaged in party activities and supports Pashinyan.
Pashinyan’s other non-parliamentary partner is Sedrak Achemyan. At one time, he was the chairman of the Central Department of the SDP, and later he was not re-elected. Achemyan, a US citizen, was engaged in construction business in the US, and in 2008-2010 He bought a vacation home in Hankavan and invested several million, completely renovating and refurbishing it. At that time, he established warm relations with Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, and SDHAP served President and Prime Minister Sargsyan, after 2018, he joined the new government. The Hnchakian Party as such does not exist in Armenia, but the chairman of its Armenian structure, Sedrak Achemyan, exists. He never expresses an opinion on any issue. The reason is that Achemyan cannot speak publicly, if he tries he will be embarrassed, and the best way to avoid it is to remain silent.
It is pointless to discuss the person of Tigran Arzakantsyan, the chairman of the “Uzh tehtyryats” party. He is also a businessman, he has a brandy production in France and Armenia. In the past, in order to provide a roof for his business activities, he was seeking a parliamentary mandate of the RA Parliament, now he founded a party and dutifully participates in meetings with Pashinyan, which is almost the limit of his party activities.
The biography of Mher Terteryan, chairman of the “United Motherland” party, consists of his work in one or another economic field, mostly outside of Armenia. It is known that he is engaged in viticulture and winemaking in Armenia, he has hectares of vineyards in Vayots Dzor. The name of his party is unclear: “United Motherland” – united with whom? Previously, when they said “united homeland”, they meant the Soviet Union as a unitary homeland of the states and peoples that are members of that union. Whether Terteryan is a supporter of the new union is difficult to say. On that subject, he says that he has not heard public statements from the Russian authorities about the intention to create a new union state. In fact, various Russian officials have announced the desirability of creating such a union. it’s another question that Terteryan might not have heard or he did, but he doesn’t want to oppose the idea of creating such a union. after all, he is the chairman of the “United Motherland” party.
Levon Shirinyan, chairman of the Christian-Democratic Party, remained. The latter is not a businessman, but according to some reports, he represents another businessman who had a significant influence in bringing Pashinyan to power, and now supports his government. Shirinyan’s party activity is limited to cursing Russian President Putin and Russia and supporting Pashinyan. Like Khzmalyan, Shirinyan could have boycotted the meeting with Pashinyan, thereby showing his annoyance with Pashinyan for sitting at the same table and eating from the same table with Putin. He could, but he probably doesn’t have the independence to do something like that.
If before Pashinyan’s extra-parliamentary circle was quite diverse, and the number of people who went to meet with him was more than a dozen, now only pure businessmen and their servants are left. These will continue to meet with Pashinyan as long as he has the power and as long as it is possible to solve the issues related to the promotion of his own business through him.