“Zhoghovurd” says a recent opinion poll in Armenia commissioned by the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) disproved opposition claims that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has lost most of his huge popularity since coming to power over a year ago. According to the poll, at least 59 percent of Armenians would vote for Pashinian’s My Step bloc if parliamentary elections were held now. The poll also found that 60 percent of respondents want the government to quickly press ahead with economic and political reforms. “That means the majority continues to trust Nikol Pashinian’s government and demands speedy reforms from it,” comments the paper.
“True, the ruling bloc’s approval rating has fallen by 12 percentage points in the last several months,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes in reference to the IRI survey. “But the authoritative organization’s poll also highlights a much more important fact: despite unprecedentedly active and aggressive counterpropaganda [against the government] 69 percent of the public finds the changes brought about by the government very positive or somewhat positive … and 60 percent thinks that the country is developing in the right direction.” The pro-government paper says these figures are all the important given the waning “revolutionary euphoria” in the country.
“Zhamanak” reports that Vartan Ghukasian, a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), has stopped attending sessions of the National Assembly after being reprimanded by BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian in late May for denouncing former President Robert Kocharian’s prosecution. “In essence, Vartan Ghukasian has severed his links with the party and its parliamentary faction without announcing that,” writes the paper.
In another report, “Zhamanak” looks at Pashinian’s latest phone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The paper notes that the phone call came just hours after massive power outages that hit Armenia on Wednesday. It says that although an official Armenian readout of the call made no mention of the emergency it may well have been discussed by the two leaders. It speculates that the disruption of power supplies may have been aimed at undermining Armenian-Iranian cooperation.