From 1 to 31 October, 2019, the “Media Advocate” initiative followed online media reports on the Member of the National Assembly, Sasun Mikayelyan’s personality and activities.
35 leading Armenian news agencies have been monitored.
In the specified period, 253 articles were declared, 43 of which were negative, 61 were positive and 149 were neutral.
Positive publications on the NA member, Head of the Union of “Yerkrapah” Volunteers, Sasun Mikayelyan exceed the negative ones. Critical articles are mainly related to the controversy which, according to press, exists between Sasun Mikaelyan and the current authorites, as well as to the processes that took place in 2008.
It is noted that the authorities try to dismiss those officials who are somehow related to Sasun Mikaelyan. According to press reports, this is, in particulary, done by firing or neutralizing those who hold an office or a mandate due to Mikayelyan. Back in July, Hakob Hakobyan, Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer of RA, who, with the mediation of Sasun Mikaelyan, was appointed to the post after the revolution in June 2018, was dismissed. He formerly held the position of Head of the Compulsory Enforcement Service of Kotayk Regional Division. A few days ago, Vaghinak Avetisyan, another close friend of Mikayelyan, was dismissed from the position of the head of Hrazdan Police Department.
It is noted that Sasun Mikaelyan seems to be independent of the team and the proof of it is that Sasun Mikayelyan refused to support the ruling party’s candidate in Abovyan elections. One of the publications states that Sasun Mikayelyan will oppose Nikol Pashinyan, if necessary.
According to one of the media analyses, Sasun Mikaelyan persuaded some generals to support Levon Ter-Petrosyan in 2008. “Vahan Shirkhanyan did his best during Aram Sargsyan’s tenure to overthrow him, and after his resignation he used all means to urge Manvel Grigoryan to start armed struggle against the acting president, so as the ruling RPA does not cooperate with Kocharyan and Andranik Margaryan does not become a prime minister. It was him, who along with Myasnik Malkhasyan and Sasun Mikayelyan, provoked desertion of the deputy defense ministers Manvel Grigoryan and Gagik Melkonyan in 2008, persuading them to support Ter-Petrosyan, who, in his turn, had initiated an armed overthrow back then. According to another analysis, Sasun Mikayelyan had military detachments together with MP Hakob Hakobyan in 2008.
The Yerkrapah Union has also raised a wave of protests after the election of the Kentron District branch president. The YU members handed back their certificates and boycotted the new president. According to them, the new president of the Yerkrapah Union of Kentron District is not from Kentron (center), and the people who participated in the elections are newly registered members. According to former Vice President of the YU Kentron District Branch, Ashot Gharibyan, the new president has been appointed by Sasun Mikayelyan.
Sasun Mikayelyan responded to Andranik Kocharyan’s offensive remarks addressed to Arpine Hovhannisyan, which has been positively perceived by the most active part of the public sector. The publications covering this topic, were positively assessed. Sasun Mikayelyan negatively approached this incident and apologized to Arpine Hovhannisyan.