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Council of Public Broadcaster Accuses Executive Director of Armenian Public Radio for Criticizing PM Pashinyan

Council of Public Broadcaster Accuses Executive Director of Armenian Public Radio for Criticizing PM Pashinyan

The Council of Public Broadcaster in Armenia has taken steps against Garegin Khumarian, the executive director of Armenian Public Radio, for openly criticizing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's latest statements regarding the conflict with Azerbaijan.

The controversy arose after Pashinyan, in a pre-recorded interview that aired on February 1, reiterated his criticism of a 1990 declaration of independence mentioned in the preamble of the Armenian constitution. He argued that Armenia would never achieve peace with Azerbaijan as long as such a reference exists, defending his intention to pursue a new constitution without mention of the declaration.

Khumarian expressed his disagreement with the Prime Minister’s stance in an op-ed article on Public Radio's website, accusing the Prime Minister of undermining a crucial aspect of "our political identity" and attempting to alter Armenia's fundamental nature. He apologized for granting Pashinyan an unchallenged platform.

"Last week we were told, Turks are strong, Armenians are weak. Turks massacre Armenians. The conclusion should have been, let’s get stronger. Instead we heard, let’s stop being Armenian," Khumarian wrote. 

The Council of Public Broadcaster, responsible for appointing heads of state television and radio, accused Khumarian of abusing his position by expressing personal views on the radio website in an "arbitrary" and "unchallenged" manner. They have announced an examination of the conformity of his actions with ethical and legal norms.

Notably, all seven members of the council were appointed by Prime Minister Pashinyan, prompting concerns about potential biases. Khumarian defended his actions, stating that he fulfilled his "professional duty" by commenting on Armenia's "existential" problems, transcending mere politics.

Pashinyan's proposed constitutional changes have faced opposition not only from Khumarian but also from political opponents and critics. They argue that the Prime Minister's strategy may not lead to lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with concerns raised about the potential consequences of altering the nation's foundational document. 


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