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Regime Change ‘Vital For Armenia’s Security’


Armenia - Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian speaks at a congress of his Armenian National Congress party, Yerevan, May 16, 2021.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s defeat in the upcoming parliamentary elections is a necessary condition for addressing grave security challenges facing Armenia, a spokesman for former President Levon Ter-Petrosian insisted on Monday.

“This government has let us in a situation where we have to think not about making gains but about minimizing losses,” Arman Musinian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “The best way to emerge from it with minimum losses is for the people to reject Nikol Pashinian’s government on June 20.”

“If Nikol Pashinian stays in power terrible developments will await Armenia,” said Musinian, who is also a senior member of Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) party.

The HAK officially announced last week its decision to participate in the snap elections meant to end a serious political crisis resulting from Armenia’s defeat in last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia - Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian (L) and Nikol Pashinian at an opposition rally in Yerevan, May 31, 2011.
Armenia - Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian (L) and Nikol Pashinian at an opposition rally in Yerevan, May 31, 2011.

In a May 16 speech, Ter-Petrosian said that the party’s chief objective now is not only to scuttle Pashinian’s reelection but also prevent former President Robert Kocharian from returning to power.

Musinian clearly referred to Kocharian when he said that “Armenia will not regain calm if some [opposition] forces come to power.” “We will be trying to explain these dangers to the society,” he said, commenting on the HAK’s electoral strategy.

Earlier in May, Ter-Petrosian publicly called on Kocharian and the other former Armenian president, Serzh Sarkisian, to join forces with him and set up an electoral alliance. He said they must also pledge not to seek the post of prime minister in the event of the would-be bloc’s victory.

Both Sarkisian and Kocharian turned down the proposal. A newly formed opposition alliance led by Kocharian is expected to be one of the main election challengers of Pashinian and his Civil Contract party.

Armenia - Former President Robert Kocharian (C) and leaders of the Dashnaktsutyun and Resurgent Armenia parties sign a joint declaration on their electoral alliance, Yerevan, May 9, 2021.
Armenia - Former President Robert Kocharian (C) and leaders of the Dashnaktsutyun and Resurgent Armenia parties sign a joint declaration on their electoral alliance, Yerevan, May 9, 2021.

Like other opposition figures, all three ex-presidents blame Pashinian for Armenia’s defeat in the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In an article published on Ilur.am Monday, Ter-Petrosian said that Armenia’s political and intellectual elites are also responsible for the war and its outcome. The 76-year-old ex-president said that all Armenian factions except his political team opposed compromise solutions to the Karabakh conflict up until the six-week war that broke on September 27.

“The point is that we did lose not to Azerbaijan and. We brought that defeat upon ourselves because of the immaturity of our political thought,” he wrote.

Ter-Petrosian was forced to resign in 1998 by more hardline members of his administration, including Kocharian and Sarkisian, after advocating a compromise peace plan drafted by the United States, Russia and France in 1997.

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