Armenian opposition breaks into Public Radio of Armenia demanding a live broadcast
Nikol Pashinyan, an opposition MP and leader of ‘Civic Contract’ broke into the Public Radio of Armenia building today along with dozens of supporters who demanded to do a live broadcast.
Guards attempted to prevent the crowd from entering the building but were unable to hold them back.
This is a continuation of the protest movement against the former president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and his potential appointment as prime minister of the country. The demonstration began last night on Freedom Square.
Read more about the protest here:
Nikol Pashinyan demanded a meeting with Mark Grigorian, the head of Public Radio of Armenia. Unable to meet with the latter nor to go live on Public Radio of Armenia, Pashinyan began speaking in front of other media outlets. The Radio-Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian Service provided live coverage of his speech and of the events inside the building.
He then requested journalists to give him some time to prepare for a speech which was short. Pashinyan called on the people to come out onto the streets and join the protestors and the demonstrations which is continuing today on Freedom Square in downtown Yerevan. The aim of the round-the-clock demonstration is to prevent ex-president Serzh Sargsyan from becoming the leader of the country again by becoming prime minister.
Pashinyan referred to Serzh Sargsyan’s statement saying that he would not run for a third term, nor would he attempt to run for the position of prime minister. Because Sargsyan did not keep his promise, the opposition leader and his supporters believe it their duty to do all they can to prevent Sargsyan from coming to power again after the country recently transitioned to a parliamentary system of governance.
Pashinyan ended his speech with the words: “Take a step forwards, and Serzh Sargsyan will step back. Our children must live in a free country.”
The purpose of the demonstration is thus: to gather as many people as possible on the streets and to surround the parliament building on 17 April which is the date set for the electing the prime minister.
If the elections fail twice, then the current parliament will be dismissed and new parliamentary elections will be scheduled. In such a way, the opposition hopes to change the composition of the parliament and to break the majoritarian party’s hold on power, and thus, Serzh Sargsyan’s accession to prime minister.
Pashinyan has announced over the past few days that if he is unable to achieve his goal, he will leave politics.
He started this movement two weeks ago with an initiative called ‘My step’. Together with supporters, he walked some 200 kilometers across the country, from Gyumri up to the capital and called on people to come out in protest against Serzh Sargsyan.
A large-scale demonstration took place last night, during which participants shut down traffic in downtown Yerevan and spent the night outside.
Pashinyan says that there were less than 200 people. For that reason he believes that the demonstration must use all its resources to spread information to the public and get them onto the streets.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia, led by Serzh Sargsyan, put the latter forward today as its candidate for prime minister. The party’s meeting was held in Tsaghkadzor, not far from the capital.