Targeting ARF, Pashinyan Threatens ‘Political Death’ of Opposition Critics

Prime Minister held a press briefing on June 10
Prime Minister held a press briefing on June 10

Prime Minister held a press briefing on June 10

YEREVAN (—Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hit back on Wednesday at opposition groups denouncing his handling of the coronavirus crisis in Armenia, saying that they are digging their own political graves.

His government has come under strong opposition criticism in recent weeks amid the soaring number of coronavirus cases and deaths caused by them. One of the opposition parties, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, has said that Pashinyan must be held accountable for the government’s failure to contain the deadly epidemic.

Pashinyan responded by accusing the ARF and other critics of spreading a “political coronavirus” in Armenia. “In my view, unlike the healthcare coronavirus, it will lead to the political death of all political and social forces that have characteristics of this bacillus,” he told a news briefing.

“You will see that those political forces will be completely driven out of Armenia’s political and public life because with their current actions they are building their political tombstones,” he declared.

Comparing the coronavirus crisis to a war, Pashinyan said that the opposition criticism amounts to high treason.

“In times of war, what do they do to those who spread panic and false information and speak out against the commander?” he said. “They put them on trial in accordance with the logic of a warlike situation. We are obviously not pursuing such a policy because we are a democratic country.”

It is the public that will throw his detractors into the “trash heap of Armenia’s history,” added Pashinyan.

An ARF leader, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, was quick to round on Pashinyan. “We will continue to fight against those who spread both the political and real coronavirus,” Saghatelyan wrote on Facebook. “As regards ending up in a political trash heap, it’s the authorities that have every reason to be deeply worried about that.”

Opposition figures and other critics say the authorities are to blame for the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the country because they never properly enforced a lockdown imposed in late March and lifted it too soon. They cite the example of many other countries, notably neighboring Georgia, that are now reporting very low infection rates.

The Georgian authorities have so far reported 822 coronavirus cases and only 13 deaths caused by them, compared with 14,103 cases and at least 227 fatalities registered in Armenia. On Tuesday alone, the Armenian Ministry of Health recorded 428 single-day COVID-19 infections. By contrast, only 4 people reportedly tested positive for the virus in Georgia.
Pashinyan said on Wednesday that the governments of all affected countries have made “mistakes” in the fight against the pandemic. He insisted that the COVID-19 mortality rate has been much lower in Armenia than in “the most developed countries of the world.”

The premier also said that his government’s handling of the crisis can be objectively evaluated only after the end of the pandemic.


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  1. Vram said:

    The extremely “transparent” and humbly “velvet”y Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan just now stated on facebook that he wants “to talk about our mistakes in handling the coronavirus pandemic, and also maybe apologize for our mistakes”… The way he rolls up his eyes while making this statement and continuing his comments shows how sincere this man is in his attempt to “MAYBE apologize” for “the MISTAKES”…
    Wasn’t he the first official who had stated that “there was nothing to worry about” because “coronavirus is not much worse than the regular flu”, at a time when people in other countries were dying left and right because of the “not much worse than the regular flu”? (Here is his recent comments:

  2. Barséghian Ardachèce said:

    Irresponsible these pseudo supporters have killed our Party now it is burying it. Go clean up, put an end to the massacre that will definitely move the people away. While the nation is at war as Mr. Pachinyan does all he can in this country of structure through 30 years of mafia governance or our party sailed from one bed to another, does he find anything better than to pat him on the back? That’s enough. After the beautiful analyses of Garen and Yacoubian, it is a political shame, national !!! How far are you able to let our ideas our history sink? in the honor? Totally close this BIG Bazaar in Armenia

  3. joe said:

    sorry, COVID in Armenia is OUT OF CONTROL and YOU SIR are in charge.. Its not political but hes making it so. Real leader are made during crises. Pashinian is failing miserably and blaming his critics..