Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. Today we are continuing our discussions with representatives of the Armenian political spectrum in the aftermath of the November 9 ceasefire agreement.
This episode was recorded on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
As protesters in the streets of Yerevan continue demanding the resignation of PM Nikol Pashinyan in the aftermath of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the ruling My Step faction seems to be firmly on the side of the prime minister.
In the last week or so here at Groong we hosted representatives of various opposition parties and today we will host a representative from the ruling My Step faction to talk about the ongoing political crisis in Armenia.
Today we’re joined by:
Maria Karapetyan, who is a member of the National Assembly with the My Step parliamentary group and the Civic Contract party. She is a member of the Standing Committee on the Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs, and the Armenian Delegation to Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA) and heads the Armenia-Italy Parliamentary Friendship Group. Maria holds degrees in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication and European Studies from Yerevan State University, as well as a Master’s degree in Peace Studies from the University of Rome Three.
Are there any operational differences between the My Step parliamentary faction and the Civil Contract party? In other words, do the Civil contract members of the My Step faction have a different decision-making process or is everything within the context of the parliamentary faction?
The signing of the November 9 agreement caught many people (including those within the government) by surprise. Was the National Assembly aware of the agreement before it was signed and if not, what were the reactions within the ruling faction? PM Pashinyan did participate in a Q&A session after the agreement, however were there any other updates that you can disclose?
After November 9th, various political groups, church leaders, as well as various non-political organizations called for Prime Minister Pashinyan to resign and an interim government to be formed. The majority faction in the National Assembly has been relatively silent and there hasn’t been much reaction to the calls by the opposition. When a government has a major failure, whether in failed policies, or losing a war, they usually take responsibility and resign. Although PM Pashinyan has accepted responsibility, he has refused to resign. Could you provide your thoughts about this situation?
There are discussions that the My Step faction is interested in introducing a new electoral code in the NA. What is the goal of the electoral reforms? What stage is the parliament in this process? What are your thoughts of having early elections without having Mr. Pashinyan resigning?
One of the chief promises of the My Step fraction and Nikol Pashinyan’s government was the eradication of corruption in Armenia. More than mid-way through its first term, there are no significant court verdicts on prominent corruption cases. What is the state of the fight against systemic corruption?
Armenia is currently facing a health crisis. On one hand COVID-19 is still a worldwide and also national problem (although statistically the situation has slightly improved), and on the other hand there are a large number of refugees from Artsakh in Armenia.
In the event of snap elections, would you consider staying in politics and running again for a seat in the NA?
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. We hope it was helpful in your understanding of some of the issues involved. We look forward to your feedback, including your suggestions for Conversation topics in the future. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
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Maria Karapetyan, My Step, Armenia, Civil Contract, National Assembly, War, November 9, Karabakh
OSCE, Elections, Artsakh, Nikol Pashinyan, Yerevan State University, YSU, University of Rome Three, Azerbaijan