News and Views from Armenia

Compiled by LTS

Social Democrats and Orinats Yerkir Expressed Support to the Civil Movement

The Social Democratic Party has made a statement today urging the acting prime minister to resign and force the parliamentary majority to elect the people’s candidate as head of interim government. Any other step may lead to dangerous and irreversible consequences, the party announces, reiterating its commitment to being among our protesting compatriots. The Orinats Yerkir Party has also announced its support to the nationwide protests and urges the government to take into account the newly emerged political reality, display prudence and implement the proposals of the people’s movement and find a rapid solution to the situation for the sake of security Armenia and of its people. The party urges the law enforcement agencies to refrain from any expression of use of force against the protesters and the participants of the movement and called on the citizens to have an active and peaceful participation in the people’s movement and complete it.

ARF Pulls Out of Government Coalition with Republican Party of Armenia

The ARF in Armenia has declared that it is pulling out of its governing coalition with the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA).

The ARF, which endorsed Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister, says in a statement just released that it is doing so given the current political impasse and the party’s desire to resolve the situation lawfully and within the frames of the constitution.

The ARF, which has entered into coalition with the RPA several times over the past twenty years, says the parliament must elect a prime minister who enjoys the confidence of the people.

Many in Armenia and the diaspora regard the ARF’s actions as duplicitous and more than a bit opportunistic.

ARF MP Joins Anti-Government Protests

ARF MP Suren Manugyan has broken ranks with his party and has joined the anti-government protests now taking place in Armenia.

A member of the ARF since 2003, Manukyan posted on his Facebook page that he’s in Batumi for a NATO parliamentary summit at the moment but that he’s been following developments in Armenia and supports the “popular revolution headed by Nikol Pashinyan”.

Manukyan, elected a parliamentary deputy in April 2017 from the 13th district in Tavush Province, where several demonstrations are taking place today, writes “I have always remained faithful to my constituents and what the people of Tavush have to say. I am their friend.”

The ARF is a junior coalition partner with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and had endorsed the candidacy of Serzh Sargsyan for the post of prime minister. In the face of mounting street protests, Sargsyan resigned on April 23.

Another ARF MP joins Armenia opposition movement

YEREVAN. – Another ARF Dashnaktsutyun party MP Andranik Karapetyan has announced that he is also joining the people’s revolution in Armenia.

“I join my people. This is my decision. I call for maximum restraint, not to yield to provocations. Let the will of the people prevail,” Karapetyan wrote on his Facebook page.

As reported earlier, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan announced his resignation as Prime Minister on Monday amid ongoing mass protests led by the opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan.

Pashinyan announced that they will continue negotiations with the incumbent authorities on Wednesday. However, it became clear on Tuesday evening that this talk will not take place.

Acting PM Karen Karapetyan stated that Pashinyan had posited new, unilateral demands.

Nikol Pashinyan, in turn, announced that they are resuming their protests on Wednesday, since the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) wants to retain power at the expense of Sargsyan’s resignation.

To note, the ARF is the coalition government partner of the RPA.

Statement of National Party of Armenia

National Party of Armenia considers Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation as the first step towards the transfer of power to the people.

Obviously, the goal of the recent movement cannot be replacement of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) PM with another representative of the RPA, as the official results of parliamentary elections in 2017 have nothing to do with today’s public opinions. The parliament should elect a prime minister by accepting a people’s candidate. it is necessary to conduct extraordinary, fair and free parliamentary elections in order to bring the pan-national movement to its logical end.

Acting PM fires Deputy Minister of Economy

YEREVAN.– Armenia’s acting PM Karen Karapetyan has fired Deputy Minister of Economy.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investment Emil Tarasyan was relieved from office in accordance with his application.

Acting PM sacks Deputy Minister of Transport

YEREVAN.- Armenia’s acting PM Karen Karapetyan has fired Deputy Minister of Transport.

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of Armenia, Arman Khachatryan was relieved from office in accordance with his application.

Pashinyan unveils details of his meeting with Russian Ambassador

Opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan met with Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin, RBK website reported.

According to Pashinyan, the meeting was initiated on his part.

During the meeting, Russia promised not to interfere in the course of events in Armenia, while Pashinyan assured the Russian ambassador that there was no hint of anti-Russian sentiments in his movement.

“We discussed a lot of issues, particularly, the situation in Armenia and its further development. We discussed how Russia can understand the situation and how Russia can help resolve this situation,” the politician added.

Asked whether Russia can interfere in case of protracted political crisis, as in the case of Ukraine, Pashinyan said: “I do not want to take into account the Ukrainian experience, because this is another story. I want to state clearly, and this was discussed during the meeting with the ambassador. This movement has no geopolitical context at all,” he said. “This movement is against corruption, this movement is against an ineffective government, and this is purely an intra-Armenian movement. And I am very glad that Russian representatives do not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of Armenia”.

According to him, the sides also touched upon Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Before meeting Russian Ambassador, Pashinyan held meetings with EU Ambassadors accredited in Armenia. He is also scheduled to meet US Ambassador on Thursday night.

Armenia parliament to discuss election of new PM on May 1

The issue of electing a new prime minister will be discussed on May 1, the president of the Armenian National Assembly said in a statement on Thursday, April 26.

According to Ara Babloyan, the discussion will be held by virtue of law at a special sitting of the parliament.

Opposition leader from Yelk bloc, founder and head of Civil Contract party Nikol Pashinyan leads the campaign against former president Serzh Sargsyan’s appointment as prime minister, and against his premiership after he was already appointed to the post.

Sargsyan was forced to resign on Monday, and Pashinyan is now seeking the appointment as prime minister by the National Assembly of what he calls “the people’s candidate,” the formation of a temporary government and snap parliamentary elections.

Pashinyan and acting prime minister from the ruling party Karen Karapetyan were scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 25 but the meeting was canceled. Pashinyan urged demonstrators to resume the rally, with the protesters paralyzing traffic on several major avenues and streets in Yerevan and gathering at the Republic Square again.

Later on Wednesday, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia declared it is ready to discuss any issue with all the parties.

Pashinyan meets with Prosperous Armenia leader

Opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, who led the civic campaign demanding Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation, on Wednesday met with the Prosperous Armenia party’s leader to discuss the domestic political situation in the country.

In a post on Facebook, the lawmaker of Yelk (Way Out, parliamentary faction) says his talks with Gagik Tsarukyan focused also on possible solutions.

“The meetings will continue,” reads part of his statement.

No journalists attended the meeting.

Armenian President to form own political party

President Armen Sarkissian of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is getting ready to form his own political party and have more active participation in future political events, according to Zhamanak (Time) newspaper.

“He is meeting with various analysts, social and cultural figures, trying to examine their sentiments.

“Sarkissian realizes that the President’s powers are so measly in Armenia that it is better to be the village mayor of any [rural] community than the RA President.

“And certain success in the elections will lay a foundation for [him] to have a real role in the political life in Armenia,” wrote Zhamanak.

Armenia ruling party ready to discuss any matter with all sides, without preconditions

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia’s (RPA) parliamentary faction held a meeting on Wednesday.

The faction informed that ex-President and RPA Chairman Serzh Sargsyan was in attendance to the first part of this meeting. He presented in more detail about why he resigned from his post of Prime Minister on Monday, spoke about the formats for working in the National Assembly, and urged to give priority to internal stability in Armenia and the country’s security.

In the second part of this meeting, the RPA faction members and Acting Prime Minister—and RPA Vice Chairman—Karen Karapetyan discussed the current political situation in Armenia and respective possible developments.

An arrangement was reached to declare that the Republican Faction stands ready to discuss any matter with all sides, and without preconditions.

Also, an arrangement was reached to begin discussing, within the RPA governing bodies, the matter of a change of party leader.

The Republican party is a union of businessmen and bureaucrats – political scientist

Political scientist Hayk Martirosyan believes that Serzh Sargsyan has not left yet, since Serzh Sargsyan was not only Serge Sargsyan. “It was a pyramid, an institute, a huge monolithic structure, the peak of which only was Serzh Sargsyan. Serzh Sargsyan was also the Republican Party. And, unfortunately, Karen Karapetyan also became Serzh Sargsyan, “says political scientist Hayk Martirosyan.

The politician explains his opinion by saying that Karen Karapetyan participated in Serzh Sargsyan’s frauds.

The speakers are convinced that the most important thing now is to get rid of the Republican party, since there is no alternatives. “The Republicans are not a usual party; the Republican is a union of businessmen and bureaucrats. Old Republicans are  there really for some ideas. The rest are there merely because it was possible to get canals for business and management through the Republican Party. The Republican Party will be deprived of these canals, it will be extinguished, will be cut off, etc.,” says Mikayel Zolyan.

Political analyst Armen Baghdasaryan does not consider Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation as a revolution. As Nikol Pashinyan excluded the revenge, and dramatic changes in foreign policy. “This is a step to remove the criminal governing system.”

Political scientist Hakob Badalyan also sees the victory in the fact that the fight was not traditional.

Despite the recent developments and the fact that Republicans are ready to discuss any issue without preconditions, the speakers recommend not to undermine the street fight.

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