By Philippe Raffi Kalfayan
The first 100 days of Nikol Pashinyan’s government are puzzling as to the political realism of his government, on the one hand, and the existing global and strategic view of the issues, on the other.
Nobody can question the benefits of the fall of the “contemptible regime” and the joy that we could finally see in the eyes of the inhabitants, but we can wonder about the motivations of the new government.
This author takes the risk of being labelled “counter-revolutionary,” but the challenge is well worth it. Nikol Pashinyan needs to succeed; political failure would be unthinkable, leading to many terrible options: from crushing the spirit of the youth, to increased emigration and even the chaos of civil war.
The immense hope raised by the fall of Serzh Sargsyan and the coming to power of Nikol Pashinyan were rewarded by a new discourse — the will to restore a just society, free from corruption, and respecting its citizens. As well, concrete actions started to take shape: a police at the service of its citizens and democracy, the first prosecutions or forced resignations of former senior officials allegedly corrupted or suspected of personal enrichment, the release of political prisoners (pending appeal of their judgement), and fair judicial handling of the more delicate case of members of the Sasna Tsrer commando (release on bail pending their trial).
This commentary was written before the August 17 speech of Prime Minister Pashinyan and intentionally delayed its publishing. Positive elements from Nikol Pashinyan’s speech corroborate this analysis, but many fears are also confirmed. If the first part of the speech was faithful to his wise, moderate, and inclusive behavior that brought him to power, the second part revealed a completely different face: vindictive, threatening, authoritarian.