Armenia’s protest leader Nikol Pashinyan claimed that the opposition would boycott a possible snap parliamentary election, the Russian news agency Sputnik reported on April 27.
The confrontation between the Armenian government and the opposition is developing for about two weeks. After the Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resignation on April 23, the acting one Karen Karapetyan suggested holding a snap parliamentary election. Contesting government’s decision, the protest actions in Armenia spread across the country’s capital Yerevan, after in Gyumri and several other towns.
The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), strongly opposed by Pashinyan’s movement, doesn’t want to surrender its power to the oppositional candidate. However, other parties of the government do not share the position of the RPA. The Prosperous Armenia party, headed by businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, joined the protest actions in Yerevan on April 25. Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Hrach Rostomyan resigned and joined the protests, the run-state Armenia news reported.
“I am calling on my Republican and Dashnak counterparts to join people and fulfill their demands,” Rostomyan said.
The Democratic Party of Armenia (DPA), headed by former First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Republic Aram Sarkisian, also joined protests.
On April 26, Pashinyan invited Karapetyan to start the second round of negotiations on April 27. However, Karen Karapetyan refused to engage in talks with Pashinyan as they had no prospects.
“The acting prime minister believes the talks in which one side dictates the agenda, and the other can’t submit an agenda can’t be considered talks,” spokesman Aram Araratyan wrote on Facebook.
During the press conference, the opposition’s leader stressed again his willing to remove the current power, Armenia news reported on April 27:
“We believe that the people’s victory should be recorded de jure, too; that is, the matter is whether the [ruling] RPA wants to resolve the crisis. If an RPA member is elected Prime Minister, the crisis will not be resolved.”
Pashinyan added, that on May 1, when the National Assembly (NA) would start debates on the election of the new Prime Minister, he would expect to see hundreds of thousands of Armenian citizens in the streets of capital city Yerevan.
Commenting on the issue that he might not have enough mandates during the vote at the NA, Nikol Pashinyan said:
“I think our main mandate is the mandate of the people of Armenia and the Armenian people in the Diaspora. Thousands of people from Russia, Europe, America come and participate in demonstrations. They want such changes so that they could return, live and do business in Armenia. This is the main mandate, the parliament must bear in mind the will of the people.”
He also assured that Russia would not intervene in Armenia’s internal affairs:
“I am sure, and the Russian authorities can also be sure that 90% of the Armenians in Russia support us. Rallies are held in several Russian cities in support of the movement. Thousands of Armenians came here to support us. Many of them are Russian citizens. I am sure that Russia will respect the position of its own citizens.”