From July 11 to 20, 2020, the “Media Advocate” Initiative followed online media reports on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s personality and activities. 5 news agencies were monitored: 1in.am, azatutyun.am, armtimes.com, aravot.am and tert.am.
According to the monitoring, 267 articles were published on 5 selected websites regarding Nikol Pashinyan. 32 articles of which are negative, 19 are positive and 216 are neutral.
Both negative and positive articles were published on RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Political scientist Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan, referring to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension, noted that everyone, discusses the clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, except Pashinyan. Ten days have already passed since the aggression of Azerbaijan, and Pashinyan only communicated with the President of Belarus.
According to Davit Shahnazaryan, Azerbaijan launched a political attack, in parallel with the shelling on the border, while the Armenian side remained silent. “There was an artillery war, but there was no Prime Minister, Minister of Defense or Minister of Foreign Affairs in Armenia. “Only at night the statement of our Foreign Ministry appeared in the press, according to which there was a provocation by the enemy, while Azerbaijan with all its levers declared to the international structures that we were the first to attack.”
Former MP Eduard Sharmazanov published an article in which he referred to Nikol Pashinyan’s activities։ “The change of power of April-May 2018, which, put someone excluding isms (as he claims) in the chair of the RA Prime Minister, initially rejected and diminished the traditional national sets of values and set the ultimate goal of building a proud and happy citizen. According to that, the government declared that the proud citizen of the Republic of Armenia newly realizes his self and his limits towards the state and the homeland.”
Political scientist Aghasi Yenokyan also referred to Nikol Pashinyan’s activities: “Nikol Pashinyan is able to come to useful conclusions even under the worst circumstances. Ignoring his “democratic” weight on international platforms and bringing geopolitical calculations to the forefront instead were an important lesson for Nikol Pashinyan. He understood that he was given an opportunity to use undemocratic solutions in internal political issues. That is why he began to consolidate his personal power by destroying democratic, constitutional and state institutions.”
Political scientist Levon Shirinyan tried to oppose the political criticism and noted: “Now they accuse of conquering the position. An opinion is being circulated that Nikol said that whatever the solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is, it should be acceptable to all three parties, but it is not acceptable for Azerbaijan to hand over the position, how did that happen? In other words, they understand politics very primitively, but in fact, the diplomat is given the tongue to hide his thoughts.”
From 81 articles published in aravot.am, 15 were negative, 7 were positive and 59 were neutral.
Eduard Sharmazanov’s article was published on the news outlet. Armen Ashotyan’s critical article, where the former MP, referred to the Artsakh negotiation process, was also published on the news agency: “In December 2018, Nikol Pashinyan voiced Azerbaijan’s assertion that there was no agreement of Vienna and St. Petersburg at all. I have mercilessly criticized this statement because the Prime Minister of Armenia had no right to repeat, moreover, to consider the Azerbaijani lies close to his heart. Pashinyan could have been convinced that such agreements had taken place by personally studying the negotiation dossier or learning the negotiation history not from Aliyev but from Sargsyan. Now I will not remind you for what internal political game these agreements confirming our victory in the April war were sacrificed.”
Former Ambassador to the Holy See Mikayel Minasyan also referred to the recent escalation. He, in particularly, noted: “We need to understand how the data of our soldiers have become available and the state online resources assailable for the enemy, why Nikol Pashinyan describes the large-scale attack of the enemy as a “military incident”, and his wife presents another peaceful initiative with a predictable outcome. These are not just questions, but ontological problems, on the answers to which, the future of our state actually depends.”
Answering the journalist’s question, which referred to Azerbaijan’s speculations that Armenia could strike at the oil and gas systems, Artsrun Hovhannisyan answered. “Yesterday, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan very clearly stated that after the defeat suffered by Azerbaijan, it is a new propaganda thesis addressed to the foreign audience. The RA Armed Forces have always had such an opportunity technically, but they have never had and do not have such a desire.”
The International Republican Institute (IRI) conducted a public opinion poll in June this year and stated that 72% has а very positive opinion on the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, 12% – positive, 6% – negative and 5% have not heard about him.
From 69 articles published in armtimes.com, 0 was negative, 5 were positive and 64 were neutral.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan’s remark was published on the news outlet, the positive articles are mainly related to Nikol Pashinyan’s activities during the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension.
From 67 articles published in 1in.am, 6 were negative, 2 were positive and 59 were neutral.
The publication of “Zhoghovurd” daily was republished on the news outlet, which reads: “On July 13 of this year, Vigen Avetisyan, former head of the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body, filed a lawsuit in the RA Administrative Court against the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the RA Ministry of Finance. The point is that the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a decision on June 10, according to Article 8, Part 1 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Inspection Bodies”, and dismissed Vigen Avetisyan from the post of the head of the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body. The latter demands in a lawsuit that the court oblige the Prime Minister to declare the decision by the RA Ministry of Finance invalid, to restore him to his former position, to confiscate the amount of forced idleness. This case was sent to the RA Administrative Court Judge Aleksandr Harutyunyan.”
The editor-in-chief of Realist Arabic, Egyptian political scientist Amr Eldiib, gave an interview and spoke about the interests of the Arab East countries in the Caucasus, especially amid the Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia since July 12, realtribune.ru reports. He noted: “The Middle East understands very well the role of the Armenian army in stabilizing the situation in the Caucasus. Many countries in the region seem to be interested in cooperating with Yerevan. “At the moment, that interest is driven by Turkey’s actions in the Middle East and Central Asia.”
From 30 articles published in tert.am, 15 were negative, 0 was positive and 15 were neutral.
The articles of Aghasi Yenokyan, Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan, Davit Shahnazaryan were published on the news outlet.
The news agency published Samvel Farmanyan’s criticism regarding Nikol Pashinyan as well. Samvel Farmanyan noted that he was ashamed of Nikol Pashinyan’s question, where the latter mentioned that maybe the Azerbaijani soldiers got lost.
From 20 articles published in azatutyun.am, 0 was negative, 1 was positive and 19 were neutral.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan’s remark was assessed as positive.
The publication was prepared with the support of “Hayrenik” Development Foundation