Second day of protests in Armenia following Karabakh truce – recount of events
A flurry of activity has followed the signing of the Karabakh truce on November 10.
Today on November 12, the Armenian PM and president discussed the situation in the country, while the Armenian National Congress party, led by ex-President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan, accused the authorities of an unforgivable crime against the Armenian people and unwillingness to overcome the internal political crisis.
PM Pashinyan made an appeal to the people and explained his reasoning for signing the truce. In the afternoon, two anti-Pashinyan protests began in Yerevan.
On the night of November 10, an agreement was signed between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh, which began on September 27, 2020.
According to this document, the regions adjacent to Karabakh are to be returned under the control of Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijani refugees are to return to these areas. Russian peacekeeping forces have already entered the conflict zone.
The signing of the agreement caused a strong protest in Yerevan, the opposition announced “the practical surrender of Karabakh to Azerbaijan.” A crowd of angry citizens destroyed the government building and parliament on the night of the signing of the document.
Below: a recount of all the events that took place before this hour on November 12.
- Yerevan protests: opposition demands resignation of PM and annulment of Karabakh agreement
- ‘I take personal responsibility for this’ – Armenian PM on situation in Karabakh
Meeting of PM Pashinyan and President Sarkissyan.
President Armen Sarkissyan and PM Nikol Pashinyan met to discuss the situation in the country earlier today, but no details about the meeting were reported.
On the morning of November 10, President Sarkissian announced he had learned about the signing of the document on Karabakh from the press. He said that the solution to the Karabakh conflict is of national importance, therefore, any action, decision and especially the signing of a document, should be the result of general and full-fledged discussions.
He said he had begun political consultations to agree on “decisions arising from the agenda for the protection of national interests.”
“I hope that in ten days we will be able to achieve such unity”, was his only comment about his plans for action.
Prime Minister Pashinyan’s address
PM Nikol Pashinyan addressed the public on TV and explained the reasons for signing an agreement to end the military conflict.
He said he realizes what bitterness and disappointment this document has caused in the Armenian public, but noted he chose to sign it for the sake of saving the lives of more than 20,000 soldiers who could have been surrounded in the conflict zone, die or be captured.
This was not an easy decision, he admitted, since by signing this document, Pashinyan realized that in this way he was crossing out “his own political career and his own life.”
At the same time, the prime minister claims that the Karabakh issue has not been resolved, and in this sense, there is still “work to be done”:
“The issue of the final settlement of the Karabakh problem and the status of Artsakh is of fundamental importance. In this regard, our tasks do not change, and the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh becomes an unconditional priority and, in fact, there are more weighty arguments in favor of the international recognition of Artsakh.”
Criticism from the party of the ex-president of Armenia
“The current government has not yet realized what kind of misfortune it has brought to Karabakh and Armenia,” stated the party of the first President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan.
“The authorities categorically reject the constitutional way of overcoming the internal political crisis, and, in fact, has taken a course towards aggravating confrontation. This is nothing but a gross violation of democracy and parliamentarism, to which it is allegedly committed,” the statement of the Armenian National Congress party says.
Ter-Petroyan’s party came out with such an accusation, because on the eve of the ruling My Step bloc refused to participate in the discussion of the situation in the country in parliament.
Protests in Yerevan
Supporters of the radical opposition organization Constituent Parliament gathered on Freedom Square. They announced that they were planning to organize a march through the city center, but police forbade the march and then dispersed the demonstrators.
Several people were detained.
The second meeting was held in front of the building of the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, the Matenadaran. It was a joint rally of 17 parties, which united even before the signing of the statement on Karabakh and demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister. They continued to fight in a tougher format after the signing of the document.
MP from the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party
Naira Zohrabyan reported that 10 leaders from different parties were detained, all of them are political prisoners. According to her, there is information about the intention of the authorities to deprive some of the opposition figures of their parliamentary immunity.
“I look forward to it, hopefully, there will be statements from our international partners and from Russia,” said Naira Zohrabyan.
What happened the day before
On November 11, the united opposition first held a rally demanding the resignation of the prime minister. Then the opposition demanded an extraordinary session of the parliament.
It was proposed to discuss the situation in the country and possible ways out of it.
The Armenian opposition also intended to express a vote of no confidence in the prime minister and achieve denunciation of the agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh.
The sitting of the parliament did not take place, since the deputies of the ruling My Step bloc, that is, the parliamentary majority, did not appear.
They circulated a statement stating that the faction does not intend to participate in the meeting, the purpose of which is to undermine the internal political situation in Armenia and endanger the situation at the front.
The parliamentary majority again stated that the agreement had been signed and its terms were accepted, as this was the only way to avoid the complete loss of Karabakh and human casualties.
The MPs of the ruling bloc suggested to the opposition, before discussing the legality of the document on the end of the Karabakh war, “to clearly declare to all Armenians and the world that they:
1. support the abolition of Russian mediation
2. support the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the line of contact
3. stand for the continuation of the war. ”
The ruling majority also invited opposition politicians to submit a “roadmap for victory in a renewed war.”