Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 9
By Matanat Nasibova – Trend:
Since the new leadership came to power in Armenia, no changes have occurred in the social and economic life of the country, but amid street protests and discontent in society, the internal political crisis has sharply exacerbated.
As a result, most experts think that the current crisis of power in Armenia actually led the country to a civil war, the results of which may be unpredictable.
Leading analyst of the Russian Political and Economic Communications Agency Mikhail Neizhmakov shared his views on how the political crisis in Armenia impedes the dialogue between Yerevan and Baku and on intra-party clashes in the leadership of this country.
What hinders the dialogue between Baku and Yerevan?
“The political crisis in Armenia will again become an obstacle to even minimal attempts at dialogue between Yerevan and Baku,” Neizhmakov added.
"In such conditions, the rhetoric of both Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his opponents in the statements on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will most likely become sharper,” he said. “As for the recent conversation between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Pashinyan, it had a symbolic significance.”
“It was advantageous for both Baku and Yerevan to at least outline readiness for interaction,” Neizhmakov said. “In my opinion, the political crisis in Armenia was caused indirectly by the meeting of the two leaders in Dushanbe, and directly by the election to the Council of Elders of Yerevan held in September. The success of the “My Step” bloc in this election gave Pashinyan more freedom of maneuver. Of course, the main part of political analysts predicted a victory for the bloc supported by the prime minister.”
“But the high expectations of the politicized public could become a risk factor for Pashinyan when a slightly low level of consolidation of voters around the My Step bloc rather than a disastrous result could have become a reason for doubts whether the rating of the prime minister is so great in the country as a whole,” Neizhmakov said.
“Therefore, apparently, the Armenian prime minister, before this election, preferred not to take risks and not to check how his internal political opponents treat his talks with Baku,” he said. “But after the completion of the election in Yerevan, Pashinyan could feel freer.”
“On the other hand, the campaign in Yerevan, which demonstrated the level of support and other opportunities of Pashinyan, could further push other political players represented in the National Assembly to take active steps,” Neizhmakov said. “They decided to strike first - an emergency meeting of the parliament on October 2 and the adoption of a bill that could impede the holding of snap election.”
“By the way, even at the beginning of the election campaign for the Council of Elders, some observers predicted a more overwhelming result of Prosperous Armenia party of Gagik Tsarukyan, who received only about 7 percent and 5 places out of 65,” he said.
“As a result, this episode could only increase the anxiety of this politician and representatives of the “Tsarukyan” faction in the National Assembly on October 2 supported the bill proposed by the Republican Party of Armenia,” Neizhmakov said.
Player Pashinyan ...
“While announcing the possibility of his resignation, Pashinyan took a break,” he said.
“This may mean that he is still waiting for unpleasant surprises from the parliament, but he is not ready to use all leverages on MPs,” Neizhmakov said. “Perhaps some external agreements are holding him back.”
“Of course, if the parliament elected another prime minister after Pashinyan’s resignation, the latter could easily have launched a large-scale rally against the actions of parliamentarians,” he said. “We have already seen that he can rapidly organize rallies of his supporters.”
“But in such situations, too much depends on the position of the security forces,” Neizhmakov said. “Perhaps the current prime minister does not want to greatly raise the price of their loyalty by staking everything. Although radical steps were expected from Pashinyan since he came to power, in fact, he again proved that he is a very careful player.”
“The first open blow during the October political crisis was not dealt by Pashinyan,” he said.
“Most likely, Pashinyan is also trying to get additional guarantees from some parliamentarians willing to compromise with him that if he resigns, the new prime minister will not be elected,” Neizhmakov said. “Let’s pay attention to the contradictory comments of the representatives of the Tsarukyan faction – hint to a possibility of rapprochement with Pashinyan’s position on snap election by Gagik Tsarukyan himself (“if people want in December, then we want that”).”
“The current players understand that if the snap election to the new composition of the National Assembly is held in December, they risk losing their positions there,” he said. “This means that any concessions from Pashinyan can also be temporary."