The Armenian parliament adopted in the second and final reading two sensational draft laws concerning the introduction of the mandatory component of the funded pension system and the exclusion of charity for political purposes
After being elected prime minister on the wave of popular protest, Pashinyan changed his position. Apparently, he now faces the harsh financial realities of Armenia, and also studied the strict messages from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the need to introduce a system of “fiscal responsibility”.
The introduction of a new pension system has not been without excesses and “losses” in the new government. The Minister of Labor and Social Security, an associate of Pashinyan on the block “Elk” Mane Tandilyan, resigned. She, like Nikol Pashinyan, at one time demanded to completely exclude the “mandatory component” from the funded pension system.
The Armenian parliament also adopted a bill “On Amendments and Additions to the Law on Charity,” against which the deputies of the Tsarukyan faction recently spoke. Judging by their reactions, they took this legislative initiative as a step against the leader of their bloc, a prominent businessman Gagik Tsarukyan.
Only a week ago members of the Tsarukyan faction made statements in the parliament and demanded that the government withdraw the bill, because it significantly reduces the opportunities for carrying out charitable activities, including during the pre-election period. According to the newspaper Zhamanak (“Time”), Tsarukyan was so outraged that he went on blackmail and threatened not to support Pashinyan in the matter of organizing early parliamentary elections.
However, Nikol Pashinyan did not compromise, moreover, he put in action the repressive mechanisms, demonstratively arresting the head of the Yerkrapah volunteer group of the Karabakh war, the MP from the Republican Party faction Manvel Grigoryan, until recently considered one of the most influential figures in the country. Under the pressure of shocking personnel testifying to systemic corruption in the army, the parliament deprived Grigoryan of his immunity and transferred him to justice.
According to experts, in the future, as the date for early parliamentary elections approaches, the friction between Pashinyan’s team and Tsarukyan’s bloc will worsen. The thing is that after the overthrow of power in Armenia, the influence of the ex-ruling Republican Party can be said to be nullified. Now the main rival of Pashinyan in the forthcoming parliamentary elections will be the “Tsarukyan” block, now formally consisting of Pashinyan’s government and owning the second largest faction in the parliament.