Will Dashnaks topple Pashinyan?

Will Dashnaks topple Pashinyan?

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun political party plans to initiate a no-confidence vote against the Armenian government, the Hraparak newspaper reported citing informed sources in the party.

According to the report, the party hopes that the public outrage will peak by May-June due to the optimization of government apparatus, possible staffing cuts in Gazprom Armenia CJSC, Electric Networks of Armenia CJSC and Ararat Cement Factory CJSC, Sputnik Armenia reported.

Since ARF Dashnaktsutyun is not represented in Parliament, the party leadership is considering the possibility of the Prosperous Armenia party and the Bright Armenia Party withdrawing from a mandate. Although this scenario is difficult to implement, according to the source, this option is still being discussed.

The deputy chairman of the Armenian National Congress party Aram Manukyan, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the ARF is trying to return in Armenian politics by doing such statements. "These words should not be taken seriously - Dashnaktsutyun has absolutely no rating. Last year they failed to pass the percentage threshold in the parliamentary elections. And Pashinyan’s rating is still very high: if there is election tomorrow, he will be supported by at least 60% of voters without any election campaign. There is no alternative to Pashinyan in Armenia," he stressed.

Aram Manukyan also expressed confidence that significant stuffing cuts in Armenia's largest enterprises, expected by Dashnaktsutyun, will not happen.

The director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute, Alexander Markarov, agreed with Manukyan. "Like any extra-parliamentary party, which is trying to position itself as a possible proto-opposition to the existing party parliamentary majority, Dashnaktsutyun has now no significant influence on the political process," he said in the first place.

"As for the possibility of the Prosperous Armenia party and the Bright Armenia Party withdrawing from a mandate, technically, it can be one of the versions for dissolving parliament or other initiatives. But it seems rather hypothetical than realistic option. Considering Pashinyan's high rating and parliamentary majority, it's difficult to talk about any actions that would lead to his dismissal as prime minister," the director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute noted.

The political analyst added that both the authorities and the opposition are trying to use the issue of stuffing cuts in their own interests. "The forces that are trying to position themselves as an opposition have an agenda connected with criticism of the government activities. It is clear that these cuts will not affect Pashinyan’s rating in the short term. But in the course of further struggle in the next electoral cycle, the topic of jobs will not be forgotten. All these trends will be used by various political forces for their own purposes," Alexander Markarov concluded.