By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Dissatisfaction with the new Armenian government is growing every day in Armenia and autumn in this country portends to be hot in terms of the political developments’ intensity.
In this situation, instead of conducting activities in the interests of his country, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan shows strange behavior. Each step he takes increases tension instead of extinguishing the growing protests. Pashinyan leads his own game, the goal of which is to remain in power in any way. He tried all the ways to stay on his post, but his rating is inexorably going down.
Having tried all the options and being disappointed, Pashinyan decided to take extreme steps. He has met with Jirair Sefilian, the leader of the Armenian Sasna Tsrer radical nationalist party, and its member Garegin Chugaszyan.
Armenian media reported that Pashinyan discussed issues of bilateral interest with Sasna Tsrer members. Sefilyan said that at the meeting they discussed issues of concern to both sides in connection with the situation in the country.
In July 2016, an armed group of Sasna Tsrer seized the building of the regiment of the patrol service of Yerevan, took hostages and demanded the resignation of the former president Serzh Sargsyan. All of the attackers surrendered to the authorities two weeks after the attack. As a result of the attack, Artur Vanoyan, Deputy Commander of the Patrol Regiment of the Yerevan Police Department was killed. Besides, the radicals also murdered Police officers Yura Tepanosyan and Gagik Mkrtchyan.
However, when Pashinyan came to power, the extremists who took part in the armed capture of the regiment were released from prisons. Then, Sasna Tsrer armed group was registered as Sasna Tsrer Pan-Armenian Party.
When Pashinyan released the attackers at the beginning of his reign, this caused a shock to the Armenian PM’s supporters. Meanwhile, the radical organization transformed into a party, began to carry out illegal tours to occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, took part in elections.
It seems that Sasna Tsrer members were released by Pashinyan not for nothing; he kept them in reserve. The extremist group can be very useful to the Armenian PM this fall because Pashinyan actually has no strength in case of a new unrest in Armenia.
The meeting with the radical nationalist party did not receive approval in Armenian political circles. Public and political activist Karen Bekaryan believes that having met with Sasna Tsrer, Pashinyan started a very dangerous game for Armenia.
In turn, member of the Alternative Projects Group Marine Sukiasyan considers that by this meeting, Pashinyan offends not only the professional but also the human dignity of the Armenian security forces and law enforcement officers. Sukiasyan also believes that Pashinyan’s meeting with the radicals is aimed at demoralizing the power system of Armenia. Another version, she added, is that Pashinyan is trying to find new supporters and create a new team as soon as possible.
Leading Armenian analysts consider the aggravation of the political situation is pushing the authorities to form armed groups loyal to the Armenian PM. Sefilyan's statement is a warning to the opposite part of the Armenian society that Pashinyan will resort to the most extreme methods to protect his power.
Thus, the fear of losing power pushes Pashinyan to another crazy step – cooperation with a radical extremist group. Sasna Tsrer was very lucky that the Armenian PM turned out to be an incompetent politician and leader. If Pashinyan had not arranged a crisis in foreign and domestic policy, if he had not scared investors and complicated the way to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he would definitely have had strong support in the person of the population of Armenia.
However, he did not fulfill his promises, failed to improve the life of the Armenians, and now, Pashinyan has been taken “hostage” by the radical group.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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