The former Republican Party of Armenia and other forces in its circle had the illusion that Nikol Pashinyan’s government, being unable to solve many problems facing the county, will soon collapse. Based on these and many other false assumptions, they have been forecasting an uprising by the people. They believed that within a few short months, the citizens will soon realize that they were being “deceived,” and will go back to the streets demanding the resignation of the current government and the return of former rulers to power.
The anti-government misinformation campaign was based on two groundless arguments. First, that the new authorities are preparing to hand over Artsakh to Azerbaijan. Second, that not only has there been no change in the country, but they headed on a path of destruction. The widespread propaganda in these two directions have failed in achieving any results in swaying public opinion. On the contrary, the people’s hatred of the former regime became more and more evident.
After realizing that overthrowing the government through street protests and reversing the course of the 2018 Velvet Revolution was not on the horizon, they are now demanding early parliamentary elections, again on the grounds of “saving Artsakh from loss.”
The need for extraordinary elections in a parliamentary system arises when the government loses its majority in the parliament, or an acute social polarization becomes evident and the majority of the people begin to express dissatisfaction with the country’s leader. In the case of present-day Armenia, neither of these scenarios exist. The ruling party enjoys an absolute majority in the Parliament and is able to have all its legislative agenda fulfilled without much difficulty. On the other hand, last week, the International Republican Institute released its most recent comprehensive public opinion survey on political and social conditions in Armenia. According to the published data, 78 percent of the citizens have a positive opinion of the Prime Minister’s leadership. If elections were held today, 55 percent of the population express a willingness to vote for the “My Step” bloc headed by Nikol Pashinyan. The same poll shows that the approval ratings of the former coalition parties of RPA and the ARF are within the range of three to four percent.
According to analysis by many international economic and financial institutions, post-revolutionary Armenia is now on a path of sustainable development. International organizations also are expressing confidence in the government’s economic and social policies.These views are shared by the majority of the population, despite the uproar and propaganda campaign run by forces from the former regime. Even the exploitation of the Artsakh issue seems not to move the needle, sounds ridiculous and only serves the goals of the enemy.
Snap parliamentary elections, at this juncture, are premature and do not serve the interests of the country as a whole. They are also unfavorable for the former ruling parties, who need to spend a long time easing the mistrust and hatred of the people towards them, if it ever happens.