Pashinyan Reports on Government’s First 100 Days

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Hundreds of thousands gathered at Republic Square on Friday for a rally to mark Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's first 100 days in office

Hundreds of thousands gathered at Republic Square on Friday for a rally to mark Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s first 100 days in office

Hundreds of thousands of people crowded Yereven’s Republic Square and the adjacent streets on Friday to hear Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s assessment of his government’s first 100 days in office. In a fiery speech that lasted more than an hour, Pashinyan defended his and his government track record and delivering an all-encompassing speech that covered Armenia’s economy, Artsakh and the Karabakh conflict resolution, fight against corruption and relations with Russia.

In opening his remarks, he, once again declared a “people’s rule,” crediting the people of Armenia for the successes of his government and the country.

“One hundred days ago, your will prevailed and the international community still cannot understand what happened in Armenia, why and how it happened,” said Pashinyan calling himself a “direct representative of the will of the Armenian people.”

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses a rally on Friday

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses a rally on Friday

“In Armenia, there is no coalition government. In Armenia, there is no parliamentary majority. In Armenia, the ultimate power directly belongs to the people and the people carry out direct rule. This is the key meaning of the revolution that took place in Armenia,” he declared pointing to the crowd and saying that they should view themselves as “supreme body of the people’s rule.”

“This means that from now on this government will be accountable to this square, will obey this square, and all key decisions must be made here at this square,” said Pashinyan to thunderous applause.

Artsakh
Specifically focusing on his role in the Karabakh conflict negotiation process and in an attempt to debunk criticism, especially from former president Robert Kocharian, Pashinyan emphasized that he is ready to negotiate, on behalf of Armenia, for the resolution of the conflict. However, he reiterated his long-running position that the Artsakh Republic must be represented at the negotiating table.

“I am ready to fully negotiate on behalf of the Republic of Armenia on Karabakh issue, but the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh must negotiate on behalf of Artsakh,” Pashinyan emphasized.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan surrounded by some cabinet members and his fellow party members on Friday

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan surrounded by some cabinet members and his fellow party members on Friday

The prime minister was clear in declaring that Armenia does not want war and would like to resolve the conflict peacefully. He said, however, that if Azerbaijan continues its attacks, the soldiers of the armed forces are ready to deliver a powerful counter blow to their advances.

“If in the negotiation process there is an option that I will think is a good one and I support, I will never sign any document without your consent. I will present whatever proposal there is to you in detail and you will decide if we will accept that resolution option not,” added Pashinyan.

Russia
The prime minister specifically discussed Armenia’s relations with Russia, as this topic has been used by Kocharian and others in attempts to discredit his administration.

In an interview with Yerkir Media on Thursday, Kocharian point blank said that Pashinyan does not have the experience to deal with Russia, as well as the complex geopolitical challenges facing Armenia.

Pointing out that since taking office he has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin twice and has discussed issues related to Russia-Armenia relations with him over the phone three times (the most recent of which was Thursday), Pashinyan said that his administration’s goal is to improve and strengthen relations with Russia and raise them to a new level.

In fact, he said, in the near future, a new “humanitarian” project with Russia will be unveiled, “the likes of which has not been seen in Armenia” since its independence.

WATCH THE ENTIRE SPEECH FROM AZATUTYUN.AM

“There will be no foreign policy shifts and one of our goals is the deepening of Armenian-Russian relations and raising these relations to a new level. After formal proceedings conclude you will get to know about a joint Armenian-Russian humanitarian project which is unprecedented in our history since independence,” explained Pashinyan.

Pashinyan said that his predecessors were adept at blaming their shortcomings on Russia, rationalizing their mistakes by citing Russian pressures.

He also noted that Armenia’s foreign policy has no geopolitical orientation. “The Republic of Armenia is not going anywhere. It is firmly standing on its feet with its proud citizens. Our key ideology in foreign relations is the protection of our national interests. We will improve our relations also with the European Union,” added Pashinyan.

Corruption/Rule of Law
Pashinyan said that his pledges to eradicate corruption have already seen some progress with the Armenia’s National Security Service actively investigation cases of looted property and funds not only from the state but also the military.

“Money stolen from the people will be recovered fully,” he said, citing recent audits of some companies that have resulted in tens of millions of dollars in additional tax revenue.

People turned out in droves on Friday to hear Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

People turned out in droves on Friday to hear Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

He also discussed the ongoing investigation into the incidents of March 1, 2008 when opposition forces clashed with police during a post-election protest resulting in the deaths of eight civilians and two police officers.

Former president Kocharian is charged with breaching Armenia’s constitutional order in relation to those events and after being released from pre-trial custody on Monday he has criticized the Prosecutor General’s office of building a case on lies.

In a clear reference to Kocharian, Pashinyan said: “I want to make clear that no one will avoid responsibility for killing 10 people and staging a coup d’etat in Armenia on March 1 [2008] … All murderers will go to prison.”

He illustrated the difference between his administration and the previous regimes by pointing out that he is not exerting any pressure on the judiciary. However, he criticized certain judges whom he believes are still taking “orders from representatives of the former corrupt authorities.”

“Come to your senses,” he warned them. “And don’t mess with the people.”

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6 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    In Armenia, the ultimate power directly belongs to Putin! Instead of celebrating a hollow victory, they should have demonstrated against Kocharian’s release. Lavrov’s comments clearly paved the way for his release.

  2. State of Emergency said:

    It’s slowly becoming clear that Pashinyan was appointed into office to be the “Controlled” opposition. He’s playing a role of a supposed opposition figure, but with Russian serving interests.

  3. zarkim said:

    Armenia desperately needs a CONSTITUTION Change. Otherwise, PARASITES like Kocharyan, Sargsyan, Yuri Khachaturov, etc… will always exist. After all, these PARASITES are the ones who designed the Armenian CONSTITUTION to make it impossible for Armenia to get rid of them.
    .
    Armenia needs to thoroughly examine all agreements made by these parasites and foreign Governments.
    Why does Russia control our BORDERS?
    .
    Kocharyan, Sargsyan have Jewish background. When Israeli Drone killed Armenians in Karabakh, these two DOGS did not bark!!
    .
    Armenian revolution will only be complete when they get rid of these VERMIN by changing the Constitution and by revising all other previously made agreements…

  4. Joseph Alekian said:

    That wasn’t a “Report on Government”, that was a campaign rally. Pashinyan was never “elected” by the people to be in the position he is in right now, neither directly nor indirectly, thus he knows that doesn’t have a mandate to rule and is campaigning. He just succeeded via street protests and obstruction to force Sargsyan to resign, but his government is not yet legitimate and is temporary. In any case, let there be free and fair parliamentary elections in Armenia and let’s see where the chips fall. By the way, there cannot have been “hundreds of thousands” of people in Republic Square. It has been calculated that no more than 100,000 people can fit in the square at maximum capacity and this crowd, even though it took up the entire square, was evidently more sparse than the crowds during the protests.

  5. Ed said:

    It is naive to say only 100k fit in Republic Square. Typically only one family member will attend. Support for Pashinyan is massive, 90% or more pf the population. Let’s just relax and give them a chance to execute their plans. And, please stop seeing Russia in everything, this is clearly an internal issue foremost.

  6. Christ said:

    It’s funny to see some comments here which are trying to show that Pashinyan is not elected by people and so on. The fact is that he always spoke the right of the people and in his limited time he proved that he is doing what he is talking. If anyone suspects that Pashinyan is assigned by Russia then think like that and time will prove you wrong. But, one thing which everyone is sure about that previous presidents where 100% assigned by Russia. I will suggest to keep your negative opinions to yourself and let us build the country and don’t speak nonsense with no proof. If 1% Pashinyan is not the person which he says then we will bring him down also.

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