YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan strongly defended his government’s track record on Friday, August 17, as tens of thousands of people rallied in Yerevan to mark his first 100 days in office.
Pashinyan claimed to have practically eradicated corruption in Armenia, ensured continued economic growth and established the kind of “people’s direct rule” that had existed in ancient Greece. He also blasted the country’s former leaders highly critical of the government formed as a result of last spring’s mass protests.
“One hundred days ago your will prevailed and the international community still does not understand what happened in Armenia, why and how it happened,” Pashinyan told huge crowd that filled Republic Square, the main scene of the protests that brought him to power. He referred to himself as a “direct representative of the will of the Armenian people.”
“In Armenia, there is no coalition government. In Armenia, there is no parliamentary majority. In Armenia, supreme 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 in a more than hour-long speech.
Accordingly, Pashinyan went on, crowds gathering in the sprawling square must now be regarded as the “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,” he declared.
“In the future, the Republic of Armenia could be cited in the historical context just like ancient Greece is cited now and Yerevan could be cited like ancient Athens,” he added.