Armenia's prime minister Nikol Pashinyan marked his first year at the helm of his country with a marathon press conference that lasted five and a half hours during which he addressed a whole range of issues from national security to sex.
The press conference was yet another example of Pashinyan using his sheer force of personality to push through new ideas in the face of a rather hostile political elite, but in a country where he is still basking in massive popular support.
During the press conferfence there was an exciting moment during which Pashinyan was asked about rumours of different factions developing within the ruling party and in Pashinyan's government. The prime minister was not amused: "Do I look like someone who will tolerate palace intrigue?", he told the journalist asking the question. "The executive leadership of Armenia is one body led by the prime minister. There are no separate wings and couldn't be within this goverment", Pashinyan stressed.
"The Armenian government is a single body, and if some wings emerge, I will destroy them, not because it is my whim, but because the law demands so. I will never allow uncontrollable situations, chaos and intrigues in the country", he said.
Pahinyan added: "The image of the Republic of Armenia is the best guarantor of our security, and today we can record that Armenia's international image is improving with every day," Pashinyan said. "And in the [Karabakh peace] negotiations we [Armenia] have principled positions with regional matters. But on the other hand, we are not destructive. We have a very constructive position, and the international community clearly sees it. We have principles, the principles are justified, they are not whimsical principles, and we are disposed constructively in the entire negotiation process."
Pashinyan also touched on the lack of sex education in Armenia and said that children where learning about sex from the street or from pornography. He called for a modern approach o the subject.
The Armenian prime minister started the press conference by listing 100 achievements of his government in his first year in office.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photot: Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan addressing a marathon press conference in Yerevan on 8 May 2019 (picture courtesy of the press service of the government of Armenia)
Most of the festivities were this year held outside Yerevan, in the city of Gyumri. The main event saw 13 citizens being awarded the title "Hero of our times".
Ahead of a scheduled meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan later this month, Ahmad Alili looks at the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, and argues that public opinion now requires answers and clarifications