Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian accused Armenian media on Tuesday of systematically trying to discredit him and his government at the behest of the country’s former leaders.
Pashinian claimed that many media outlets are keen to make Armenians believe that the current authorities are no different from former President Serzh Sarkisian’s “corrupt” administration and Republican Party (HHK). He seemed to blame Sarkisian and another former president, Robert Kocharian, for the “propaganda campaign waged against my family and my political team.”
“Ninety percent of the media scene [in Armenia] is controlled either by the two entities representing the former authorities or [other] forces opposed to us … Most media outlets controlled by forces opposed to us are in the hands of representatives of the former regime,” Pashinian said in a live Facebook transmission.
“Why is this important?” he went on. “For the simple reason that the following process is now underway in the media scene: representatives of the former regime … are trying to ‘republicanize’ our government and say that there is no difference, that this government is the same as the Republican one was.”
Pashinian insisted that his government is fundamentally different from the previous authorities first and foremost because it “does not plunder the people and the state.” “This is the kind of change which we had dreamed about for many years,” he said.
The prime minister did not name any media outlets involved in the alleged smear campaign. He said only that they frequently show his, his family members’ and political allies’ private lives in a bad light.
On Sunday, Pashinian took to Facebook to lambaste a scathing newspaper report about a restaurant dinner organized by him for around 90 newly elected members of Armenia’s parliament representing his My Step alliance.
“Hraparak,” a Yerevan daily critical of both the current and former governments, drew parallels between the My Step get-together and Republican leaders’ notorious love of lavish parties.
Pashinian charged that the paper is “nostalgic about the corrupt Republican regime.” The “Hraparak” editor, Armine Ohanian, dismissed the criticism.