YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan on Monday, August 2, announced his resignation and revealed that he had differences with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during the recent parliamentary race.
Avinyan, 32, is a senior member of the ruling Civil Contract party who actively participated in the 2018 mass protests that brought Pashinyan to power. He was appointed as deputy prime shortly after the “velvet revolution.”
In a Facebook post, Avinyan said he did not participate in Civil Contract’s parliamentary election campaign because he objected to its list of candidates for the snap polls held on June 20. He said he felt that it may be at odds with the “separation of business and politics” championed by Pashinyan’s political team.
“Nevertheless, I am convinced that the separation of business and politics will remain an irreversible principle for our team and that it will manage possible risks,” he wrote. “I will stay on as a member of Civil Contract’s board and do my best to help ensure that all reforms launched by us in 2018 continue.”
Avinyan appeared to refer to the presence of at least two wealthy businessmen on the party’s electoral list. Both tycoons, Khachatur Sukiasyan and Gurgen Arsenyan, were elected to the parliament.
Pashinyan stated shortly after the 2018 regime change that Armenian entrepreneurs no longer need to hold parliament seats in order to protect and expand their assets.