Pashinyan Accuses Artsakh Officials of Election Meddling

Artsakh President Bako Sahakian greets Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan when he arrived in Artsakh in June
Artsakh President Bako Sahakian greets Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan when he arrived in Artsakh in June

Artsakh President Bako Sahakian greets Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan when he arrived in Artsakh in June

YEREVAN (—Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday lambasted senior Nagorno-Karabakh officials who he said are “meddling” in Armenia’s ongoing parliamentary race with their public statements.

One of his close associates, Sasun Mikaelyan, said on Monday that the success of this spring’s protest movement that brought Pashinyan to power was more important than the Armenian victory in the 1991-1994 war with Azerbaijan.

The remark was condemned by leaders of the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia as well as some Karabakh Armenian government and military officials.

Pashinyan was quick to respond to the outcry. He accused the Republican Party of Armenia of deliberately misinterpreting Mikaelyan’s statement which he portrayed as a slip of the tongue.

The premier also hit out at the Karabakh leadership on Thursday during a campaign trip to the Gegharkunik province.

“Frankly, I don’t quite understand recent days’ activity of representatives of the Artsakk Republic,” he said at a rally held there. “Why have they become active? Why are they making various comments? And why are they trying to meddle in and show their presence in Armenia’s parliamentary election campaign?”

“I am calling on [Artsakh President] Bako Sahakian to rein in representatives of his government and make sure they do their job,” Pashinyan went on.“The press secretary of the Karabakh president comments on my statements every other day. What is this?”

“Sober up and mind your business,” he said in an unprecedented warning to the authorities in Stepanakert. “I will certainly discuss this with you, but only after the elections.”

Sahakian did not immediately react to the criticism. Incidentally, the Karabakh leader met on Thursday with the visiting chief of the Armenian police, Valeri Osipyan. No details of the meeting were made public.

Karabakh officials also reacted when Pashinyan declared on the campaign trail that he is the first leader of Armenia whose son performs compulsory military service in Karabakh. He also said that some sons of unspecified “Karabakh leaders” did not serve in the military at all.

It was not clear whether he referred to only Armenia’s Karabakh-born former President Robert Kocharian or Karabakh’s leaders as well.

Sahakian’s press secretary, Davit Babayan, stated afterwards that the sons of both the current Karabakh president and his predecessor Arkadi Ghukasyan had served in the local military.

Pashinyan mentioned only Kocharian’s two sons when he campaigned in Gegharkunik. He said that although they both were formally drafted to Armenia’s armed forces during Kocharian’s rule none of them “spent a single night at any military base.”


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  1. Andrias Grigorian said:

    Those Armenian leaders who talk about giving land for peace, they are traitors. Even if they say it is people’s decison.

  2. Mgl said:

    Pasha started talk too much and now making enemies with Karabakh. Is he the same as the traitor Levon?

  3. Bob said:

    As an admitted total foreigner, I cannot decide whether it be more a tragedy or an inexcusable disgrace that the leaderships in both Artsakh and Armenia feel that they have time to indulge in such foolish passions while ignoring so many pressing problems within their own nations even as the health and strength of both is slipping into oblivion. What a disgrace!

  4. AV said:

    NP is showing his true colors – for Armenia’s sake, his “revolutionary” adventures have brought about a self-inflicted wound that will end his political “leadership” on 12/9/18.

  5. Mike Sarian said:

    We cannot have this type of public disagreements! it only serves the Azeris. I want peace and harmony among our leaders.
    I met both leaders and I like Bako personally and I wish they resolve any issues among themselves without any further public outcry.
    I wish harmony and cooperation for the sake of Armenian nation. .

  6. Ed said:

    Pashinyan also sent his son to serve in Artsakh, relax people. This is a minor incident with old regime supporters in Artsakh, no reason to make bigger deal out of it.

  7. Jacque said:

    It is time, as did Russia (annexed Crimea) for Armenia to annex Karabakh, so Karabakh is part of Armenia’s political process and grow as one nation.
    Armenia is already at war with Azerbaijan, officially or not. that way we’ll also see where is Russia’s loyalty, and make foreign policies accordingly.
    It’s time to stop the bickering and robing the nation and be one people with one agenda.
    Free, independent, United Armenia.

  8. Serge said:

    These are all misunderstanding, everybody’s intention is good nobody wants to harm Armenia and Armenian people, so please just concentrate on the real thing which is the free and clean election and forget about who said what and why.