Dashnaks challenge Pashinyan?
The late April has provided an occasion for the Armenian policy to reflect on possible counter-revolutionary aspirations on the part of the extra-parliamentary opposition. According to Armenian information sources, the ARF Dashnaktsutyun party is seriously considering the possibility of initiating a no-confidence vote against the Armenian government.
The oppositionists do not rule out forming a coalition with the Prosperous Armenia and the Bright Armenia parliamentary parties in order to create an artificial crisis by their simultaneous withdrawal from a mandate. Although it will be extremely difficult to implement such a scenario in the current political situation, Dashnaktsutyun are in no hurry to abandon it.
Dashnaktsutyun is one of the most controversial parties in modern Armenia. They are either elevated to the rank of true saviors of Armenia's interests in the whole world, or severely criticized for political adventurism, which can hardly be called harmless. The party was banned, allowed, supported by the authorities, was in disgrace. Over the past 20 years, the ARF results in parliamentary elections have always been minimal, only with the Karabakh clan's help, Dashnaks overcame the 5% barrier. The party had real success in 2007, when according to the results of parliamentary election, Dashnaks took 16 deputy seats. For Armenians, the ARF has long been considered a carrier of ideals with a nationalist color — vigorous anti-Turkish and sometimes anti-Turkic slogans. Dashnaks never forgot that they owe their renaissance to Robert Kocharyan. The close cooperation with the clan eventually caused the party’s sovereignty to be questioned, because in alliance with the Karabakh clan, Dashnaktsutyun constantly lost its independence and later, as a junior ally of the Republican Party, received legal and non-governmental quotas.
The current political inclinations are not unfounded. Since the December parliamentary election, Nikol Pashinyan never mentioned that the current parliament is a coalition. Ideally, being in the coalition, the prime minister bears some responsibility for conducting a policy, as well as the behavior of the partner parties. Considering that the Prosperous Armenia Party (PPA) almost always, and Dashnaktsutyun at different periods of time, had its place in parliament, it can be assumed that the PPA (Tsarukyan’s bloc) and ARF were not Pashinyan’s allies in the first place, and they are not today. At the same time, Nikol Pashinyan didn’t set accents for a long time, defining Dashnaks as “friend” or “foes”, allowing them to show their attitude to the revolutionary power.
Pashinyan had previously considered Dashnaktsutyun as a powerful tool of influence on the Armenian diaspora. The ARF has structures in 30 countries on five continents, which is rare for political organization. This is the only Armenian party that seeks to be present in the Armenian communities of the post-Soviet space. Armenian clergy also did not hide their sympathies to the Dashnaks before. Finally, the party has impressive ties and financial support from the diaspora. The confrontation with the ARF is undesirable, since, having embarked on the consolidation of the disparate diaspora, Pashinyan does not want to discourage Armenian foreign entrepreneurs and businessmen from investing in Armenia.
Today, the Dashnaks demonstrate a "counter-revolutionary face", expressing a negative opinion about the current government's activities. They hope that Nikol Pashinyan may have problems with the practical implementation of his programs. The stake can be made on revealing the format of relations with Russia and the West, on success or failure in improving the republic's investment climate, and finally on achievements in resolving the chronic Achilles heel of Armenian policy - the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the case of a crisis in one of the aforementioned areas, a political stalemate is possible, which the Dashnaks, in the spirit of the revolutionary romanticists, expect to use, coming to the forefront of dramatic events. But given the methods of political struggle which the Dashnaks prefer, the revolution will be far from velvet.
The current rhetoric in the spirit of the realization of the Dashnaks' mythical ideals serves to increase the extremely low political demand for the party. The ARF leaders, who brought Armenia and Armenian society to the brink of crisis because of their political ambitions earlier, still cannot step away from the rhetoric of “constant struggle”. The Dashanks often freely interpret the Armenian people's real interests, losing sight of the most important condition for the well-being of modern Armenia - peace and cooperation with its neighbors. The mythologized ideas of the "centuries-old confrontation", the virtualization of everyday life have served to fuel national conflicts, loss of work and outflow of the population. Unfortunately, the “Great Armenia” ideologues living in France, the U.S. and Argentina have little interest in the problems of everyday life. Therefore, pragmatic Pashinyan will be guided by politics: the further away the Dashnaks are, the better it will be for the Armenian people and for the republic. Taking into account that the current government is still being reformed, the old bureaucracy has undergone minor changes, mistakes in the actions of the authorities can give impetus to the consolidation of counter-revolutionary forces that are looking for ways to activate various diaspora sites, including abroad. Therefore, in order to prevent a possible consolidation, the authorities should pay special attention to strengthening personnel affairs, as well as deal the issue of external relations as rationally as possible.