From August 21 to 31, 2019, the “Media Advocate” Initiative followed online media reports on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s personality and activities. 4 news agencies were monitored: aravot.am, azatutyun.am, armtimes.com and lragir.am.
According to the monitoring, 401 articles were published on 4 selected websites regarding Nikol Pashinyan. 30 articles of which are negative, 20 are positive and 351 are neutral.
Nikol Pashinyan remains the most covered politician. In this ten-day period, the negative and positive articles are almost equal, but the negative publications are sharper. Few days ago, Former Secretary of the Artsakh Republic Security Council, Vitaly Balasanyan gave an interview. He criticized Nikol Pashinyan’s government noting: “The 2018 parliamentary elections were illegal. All the actions that Nikol Pashinyan has committed are nothing but criminal acts. Pashinyan’s appeal against courts was not an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order for which a lawsuit is filed against Robert Kocharyan, but a direct overthrow of constitutional order. The time will come, and everyone will be responsible for their actions.” Balasanyan also touched upon the organizations conducting an observation mission during the Elections of Local Self-Government Bodies in Artsakh, questioning the reason why those organizations were chosen to receive financial assistance.
Former Deputy Governor of Ararat, Hayrapet Babayan thinks that Nikol Pashinyan’s statements and actions do not correspond to each other; “One may see completely different statements now. There are some phenomena in his activities that lead to a frustrating situation. Velvet, non-violent revolution, statements about uniting Armenia and uniting the Armenian people, now we don’t see such things, what we see is a black-white division: they do their best to prevent the society from uniting for the sake of Armenia’s future.” Babayan noted.
Stanislav Tarasov spoke about the criminal case filed against the second president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan. According to Tarasov, Moscow still cannot understand the actions undertaken against Kocharyan.
As far as the Amulsar case is concerned, Nikol Pashinyan has also been criticized for this issue.
From 133 articles published in Lragir.am, 5 were negative, 4 were positive and 124 were neutral.
The news agency touched upon the possible reasons why Nikol Pashinyan did not attend the 29th International Economic Forum in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland. According to media reports, there was an opinion that Nikol Pashinyan did not attend the conference because Vladimir Putin was not invited to Poland, and Nikol Pashinyan thus expressed solidarity with the Russian president. The news outlet published also Armenian Constructive Party’s statement on Amulsar: the statement welcomed Nikol Pashinyan’s points of view on this issue.
From 121 articles published in Aravot.am, 21 were negative, 9 were positive and 91 were neutral.
Vitaly Balasanyan gave an interview to Aravot.am and, as we have already mentioned, he has harshly criticized the authorities. Armen Ashotyan also criticized the authorities, in particular, referring to the Artsakh conflict, Ashotyan mentioned that there is an impression that the latest negotiation documents have not been read or if read, they have not been understood. There is a reference to Amulsar too. The opinion of political technologist Vigen Hakobyan may be assessed as positive. According to a political technologist: “It is difficult to say how the government perceives, assesses the situation, because in general, one and a half years has shown that the concept of power and “Nikol Pashinyan phenomenon” really differ. The whole power is quite amorphous, which does its best to do nothing and leave everything up to the same person, that is to leave everything up to Pashinyan. That is to say, the government is trying to avoid responsibility and leave everything on Pashinyan.”
From 97 articles published in Armtimes.com, 2 were negative, 6 were positive, 89 were neutral.
The publication according to which Nikol Pashinyan received a shirt with Real Madrid players’ signatures, was perceived as positive. The Minister of Emergency Situations noted that the meeting with Nikol Pashinyan was positive and expressed hope that the salary of the junior staff of Rescue Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations would increase significantly. The incident when the staff of the dissolved boarding school could not speak to the Prime Minister was assessed as negative.
From 50 articles published in Azatutyun.am, 2 were negative, 1 was positive and 47 were neutral.
The news agency published an interview with former MP Aram Manukyan. According to the former MP, the revolutionary government lacks realistic approach. The publication, according to which the program of state support for providing housing allocations for the officers and sub-officers of the Armed Forces, was assessed as positive.
The above-mentioned shows that the statements made earlier by the authorities, contradict the actions at the moment, are problematic for the authorities. As for the Amulsar issue, there is no clear decision yet, the discussions only complicate the situation.