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News > Armenia

Armenia: Political Situation Worsens After New Protests

  • Protesters demanding Prime Minister Pashinyan's resignation in Kapan, southern Armenia.

    Protesters demanding Prime Minister Pashinyan's resignation in Kapan, southern Armenia. | Photo: Twitter/@301_AD

Published 27 February 2021

Thousands of people demanding the resignation of the prime minister protested in front of the National Assembly overnight.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has refused to sign a prime ministerial order to dismiss the army chief of staff, aggravating the national political crisis amidst protests for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

The country has faced turmoil since Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a Russian-brokered peace deal in November, sealing a defeat to Azerbaijan after six weeks of fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.


Armenia: Armed Forces Call for Resignation of Prime Minister

This Saturday, opposition demonstrations against Armenia's prime minister continue to engulf the capital Yerevan in massive rallies demanding the resignation of the authority.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces called on Thursday for the resignation of Pashinian, who denounced an attempted coup d'état and managed to summon some 20,000 supporters in the capital, Yerevan.

The opposition, meanwhile, organized a protest of at least 10,000 people, who erected barricades, erected tents and blocked the streets in the vicinity of Parliament and vowed to stay there until the prime minister resigns.

Protests have been on the rise since the signing of a ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh that ended hostilities between the two countries.

The document involved Armenian forces returning to Azerbaijan several territories that had been under their control since the early 1990s. 

This was followed by a wave of anti-government protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Pashinian, who responded that he was democratically elected and would only step down after a popular consultation.

The divisions widened last Thursday when Pashinyan defied a call by the military to resign, accusing them of a coup attempt, and in turn, ordered the dismissal of the chief of the general staff, Onik Gasparyan. This Saturday, Sarkissian said in a statement that he would not support the dismissal.

For his part, Pashinyan said he will again send a demand for Gasparyan's resignation. "This decision does not contribute to resolving the situation at all," he said in a Facebook post.

"I am again sending the request for the Chief of General Staff's dismissal to the President of the Republic, hoping that it will be signed in accordance with the established procedure," said the text from Pashinyan, who has faced growing calls to resign from his post.

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