Thousands demonstrate demanding resignation of Armenian PM
Thousands have begun protesting in Yerevan, demanding that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resign.
A march of thousands asking for the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan began in Yerevan on Saturday, according to a Sputnik journalist.
The march began in downtown France Square, where an opposition tent camp has been functioning since early May. According to the reporter, church leaders and high-ranking retired officers are at the forefront.
According to the correspondent, the protestors plan to stroll through Yerevan's principal streets.
For more than a month, opposition rallies and demonstrations have been held daily in Armenia, with protesters demanding Pashinyan's resignation and expressing dissatisfaction with his position of lowering the bar on Nagorno-Karabakh's status and reaching a peace deal with Azerbaijan, which he declared in parliament on April 14.
The unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh dispute previously sparked huge protests in Armenia in 2020, when opposition groups spoke out against the signing of a ceasefire deal following the Second Karabakh War on November 10, 2020.
Azerbaijan captured a number of cities previously controlled by Armenia, notably the strategically significant city of Shusha, under the terms of the deal. Protests raged on until April 2021, when Pashinyan was re-elected prime minister in early polling. The opposition also labeled Pashinyan a traitor who was jeopardizing Armenia's standing in international affairs.
An opposition rally began on Saturday in the middle of Stepanakert, the city of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan's mainly Armenian breakaway area, according to a Sputnik journalist.
People have expressed their dissatisfaction with Armenia's approach toward the territory, accusing it of lowering the threshold for Nagorno-Karabakh's status.
Hundreds of people have joined the demonstration in the city of fewer than 60,000 inhabitants. Veterans of the 2020 conflict with Azerbaijan, young people, local officials, and even pastors are among the protests.
In 2020, the decades-long struggle between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted in the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing thousands on both sides.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in mid-April that his administration planned to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan shortly, adding that the main aim of the discussions for Yerevan would no longer be to agree on the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan. It sparked a wave of protests in Armenia, with the opposition demanding Pashinyan's resignation.