Domestic visits

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to Gegharkunik Marz

19.11.2018 - 19.11.2018

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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the events dedicated to 190th anniversary of Martuni city during his visit to Gegharkunik Marz of Armenia.

Congratulating the residents of Martuni, Nikol Pashinyan noted that Martuni has a reason to be proud because people in Martuni, like all the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, are distinguished by their strong will, diligence, and hard work.

“Martuni is also known for the fact that due to difficulties, many people in Martuni were forced to go to work in foreign countries, but they did not leave Armenia, they stayed there to build their country and their city. I would like to thank these people and all of you first of all for diligence, patriotism, for your strength and your will.

You have never stepped back in the face of hardships, and you will not back down. The 190th anniversary of Martouni is remarkable because we have created together a New Armenia, where everyone feels victorious and should always feel so.

What is the most important change in Armenia? The key transformation is that each of you is in power today in the Republic of Armenia. It is common to state that there are 3 million presidents and 3 million prime ministers in the country and this seems to be criticism. I do not agree with that, and I think having 3 million prime ministers in the country is not an imperfection, but an advantage. This means that you are in power in Armenia.

Being prime minister in Armenia is not a pleasure, but a responsibility, and when we say that power belongs to the Armenian people, that is exactly what we mean. And we will make changes if we understand the essence of this sentence with seriousness and evaluate it.

During the revolution, when there were several hundred thousand people in the square, addressing the people I said that the revolution has a leader and you are that leader. Each of you is Prime Minister in this country, which means that each of us has a special responsibility for our reality.

For several years, we have said many times that the fate of change depends on you. Today, it is time for each of us to understand it. Every voter has a voice and everyone should feel their special responsibility.

I have always promised to tell the truth, I will not try to distract reality. When I look out the car window during my visits to the regions, I feel sorry because today our homeland is lost in the garbage. This problem should be solved jointly by the government and the citizen. The biggest problem today is to create a waste treatment plant. Today in Armenia, if a citizen does not maintain at least his environment, serious things will not change in our country,” Nikol Pashinyan said, showing the area full of garbage to the Noratous community.

The Acting Prime Minister said that such a situation is unacceptable. “Why was there no revolution in the country because we were afraid of something, of defeat, of persecution, but when we won, we stopped worrying. That is, our perception has changed. But the change of power is not enough, there is still much to change.

The thrown waste is a shame for us all. They want to teach us how to live in garbage, but we have cleaned up political waste and we have to clean up the physical, mental, moral waste, waste of despair.

We will not tolerate the existence of junk, because we are a nation, which has heroes like Simon Martirossian, Yuri Vardanian, Mount Melkonian. Everybody everywhere wants to convince us that we are a small people, that we are a poor people, but today we all say that we are a great people. This is the essence of the revolution.

We have proven to ourselves and to the world that we are a great people because we have accomplished something that no one in the world has been able to do before us.

Many of us did not believe that such changes could be made with love and solidarity, because many wanted blood rivers to flow through the streets in our country, but we did not allow it and we will not allow it.

Let no one try to insinuate the idea that we are poor wretch; we are strong and victorious; let no one try to speak to us with compassion, threats and contempt. It is the people of Narekatsi, Mashtots, Monte Melkonian, Marshal Baghramyan and Tigran the Great. But our greatness also begins when we see rubbish in our homeland and we take it from the ground, because we are a great nation and we love every corner of our country and we will not allow anyone to give us a foreign corner,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

At the same time, the Acting Prime Minister emphasized the political team that carried out the revolution, has honored all the commitments assumed before the people. “We said we would do the will to change power a reality, without violence, we said that we will fight against corruption without compromise, and today this commitment is fully realized, it continues with the greatest intensity possible.

We said we would hold early parliamentary elections. Thanks to your help, by blocking the National Assembly in a few hours on 2 October, we were able to organize early parliamentary elections. As a result, all the promises we made for this revolutionary phase were kept. We fulfilled our great promise to empower the people. The fate of us all is in our hands. You have to choose who will be the prime minister in the next five years.

I guarantee you no one can force you to choose someone with administrative leverage, electoral corruption, with a threat. Fair elections will be held in Armenia.

I hope that representatives of the institute "electoral blowers" will not be tempted. Do not let anyone tell you who to choose. Follow the campaign, the political forces, decide who you want and your decision will be irreversible,” Nikol Pashinyan pointed out.

Afterwards, the Acting Prime Minister visited the stands in Martuni Square, where the locals showcased their products, culture and crafts to the guests.

Nikol Pashinyan then visited Noratus community, where a large amount of waste was dumped. The community leader reported that the area full of garbage belongs to a private contractor. In this regard, the Acting Prime Minister asked why no administrative sanction had been imposed on him. “Pay special attention to your environment. You have the responsibility to keep your environment clean. The problem is not the penalty, but the preservation of your environment,” Nikol Pashinyan said, addressing the community leaders and owners. They promised that from now on they will pay a lot of attention to this problem, and such a thing will not happen again.

Nikol Pashinyan met with community leaders and school principals in Gavar. The Acting Prime Minister discussed the upcoming political processes, including the parliamentary elections, and asked them to refrain from using administrative leverages during the electoral process.
“The old traditions will not work anymore. Principals and community leaders may want some levers to be used to provide electoral benefits. Our task is clear: Armenian citizens are the only ones to decide who to vote for. The involvement of directors and educators in propaganda processes should be excluded, no teacher should use his status for propaganda purposes. Their function is to give knowledge and organize the educational process. We will eradicate this phenomenon,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

Nikol Pashinyan considered the steps of using administrative levers and threats during the elections unacceptable, which limits the will of the citizen. “Such a trend will have a strict reaction. The police have a concrete task, and nobody should even try to give a bribe. Better not to do it, leave the citizens alone,” he said.

During the meeting, issues related to local government issues, job creation, purchasing, waste disposal and tax administration were discussed.

“We want real opportunities to be created for everyone, for investments to be made, for new jobs to be created, for work-related problems to be solved. We want people to be encouraged to create their own results. We want to create an opportunity for people to win. Our efforts are aimed at that. The second most important goal of the revolution is to encourage work. We should help people so that they no longer have the psychology of poor, helpless, beggars in need of alms of others. Armenia is and should be a country of opportunity,” Nikol Pashinyan said, noting that the government will exempt micro-businesses from taxes in a bid to promote labor. The Acting Prime Minister urged the community leaders to pay particular attention to potential investors seeking to create new jobs.

In response to the question of cooperation between states and, in particular, relations with Belarus, Nikol Pashinyan said: “The time of old-fashioned relations with Armenia is over. Maybe, we are few in number, but we are a great nation. We are a nation of millennial history that has given birth to generals and has a rich culture. But rest assured that our government is able to maintain and protect the interests of our country in those relations. Everyone should take this into account, and I promise they will take it into account.”

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During his visit to Gegharkunik Marz of Armenia, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan inspected the reconstruction of Martuni’s high school, the Sevan city stadium and attended the opening of the renovated Levon Kalantar Drama Theater in Gavar.

Nikol Pashinyan first called at the high school after T. Abramyan in Martuni where he was briefed on the work performed to this date. It was noted that since 2016, about 700 million drams have been invested in construction work under the World Bank’s Improved Education program. As a result, the school has been reconstructed and equipped with the necessary modern equipment. The high school, which will open its doors next year, will be in a position to host up to 350 students. There are currently 250 students studying here.

Nikol Pashinyan next visited the Drama Theater after L. Kalantar in Gavar, which has been under reconstruction since 2011, with 780 million drams allocated from the state budget for the implementation of the program. Nikol Pashinyan walked around the premises to get acquainted with the work done so far. The Acting Prime Minister stressed the importance of the reconstruction of the theater and expressed confidence that this would contribute to the revitalization of cultural life in Gegharkunik.

“Our government is implementing a strategically important program in the field of culture. 360 thousand students in the framework of financing from the state budget will be able to attend theaters, museums and classical concerts once a year. I consider this a crucial contribution that will not only increase the attendance of cultural centers, but also contribute to the popularization of culture,” Nikol Pashinyan pointed out. The Acting Premier said that several writers and artists will attend educational institutions and hold master classes as part of the “Your Art” program.

“We are confident that the opening of the Drama Theater after Levon Kalantar will be of great importance, and you will not be short of spectators,” Nikol Pashinyan noted, stressing that the cultural sphere is a priority for the Armenian government. He noted that the state has increased the funding for cinemas, museums and concert halls by 400 million drams, but the latter should improve the management standards and take steps to increase the influx of spectators.

At the end of his visit to the region, Nikol Pashinyan visited the city stadium of Sevan and got acquainted with the work done there. The local authorities reported that the stadium was reconstructed in collaboration with the Football Federation of Armenia. A new grandstand has been erected, the toilets were repaired, and a fence was built there. The stadium has a modern artificial pitch. It is the home ground of Sevan Juniors FC, which is likely play in Armenia’s Premier League next year.

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