Armenian opposition meets with president – social media commentary on unrest
The number one topic for several days now in Armenia has been the PM’s demand that the General Staff of the Armed Forces Onik Gasparyan be dismissed.
Pashinyan began the procedure to do so after a statement by the leadership of the General Staff, in which the generals demanded his resignation.
The General Staff’s statement was made against the background of the political crisis that began in the country immediately after the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh. Since the fall of 2020, the opposition and its supporters have been demanding the resignation of the prime minister, who signed this document.
The statement of the military on February 25 said that “the prime minister and the government of Armenia are not able to make adequate decisions in a crisis and fateful situation.”
PM Nikol Pashinyan regarded the actions of the General Staff as an attempt at a military coup and sent a petition to the president to dismiss the head of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan.
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However, the president has already returned the document without a signature twice. The first time, he noted the dismissal would not comply with the country’s constitution.
The second time around, Armen Sargsyan accompanied his refusal to sign the decree on the dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff with a statement to the Constitutional Court, in which he asks to consider the constitutionality of the amendments to the Law on Military Service and the Status of Servicemen. This is a law regulating, in particular, the grounds for dismissing military personnel from office.
The president’s decision was not to the liking of the opposition Movement to Save the Motherland, which since February 25, after the statement of the General Staff, has been carrying out actions of disobedience.
The opposition supporters blocked Baghramyan Avenue in the center of Yerevan, where the parliament buildings and the presidential residence are located. They have set up tents here and intend to spend the night in them until the Prime Minister resigns..
March 3 events
The leaders of the opposition movement demanded an emergency meeting with Armen Sargsyan.
“The Movement for the Salvation of the Motherland expresses concern over the today’s decision of President Armen Sargsyan on the issue of dismissing Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan from his post. In the disseminated message, the head of the country bypasses the issue of challenging the relevant decision of Nikol Pashinyan in the Constitutional Court,” the opposition movement said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The meeting with the president took place several hours before the opposition rally. However, there is little information on the results of the dialogue. The presidential press service limited itself to the already traditional statement that “the interlocutors exchanged views on ways to overcome the crisis in the country and reduce the tension caused by recent events.”
The opposition rally in Yerevan is scheduled for 16:00. In this regard, the police have already issued a warning:
“The police received information that provocations are possible at the upcoming rally on March 3 at 16:00. We urge to hold mass events exclusively within the framework of the law, refrain from illegal actions and not succumb to provocations. “
On social media, political scientists and various Telegram channels are actively discussing what is happening in Armenia.
The author of the Blue Beard telegram channel spoke about the actions of the opposition:
“Any opposition in any country would jump out of its pants with happiness if it was supported by the General Staff of the country’s army. Thousands of people literally in a matter of days would force the police to go over to the side of the people. The equation “people + army” is the axiom of victory.
I have a positive attitude towards people on Baghramyan, I know many personally. These are worthy people. But going into a deep defense can end in a deep knockout. It is impossible to win in any defensive sports game. It is only possible with an advantage. The opposition now has no advantages”.
Singer Avraham Russo spoke about the situation in Armenia and how the prime minister of Armenia should act on the Abbas Djuma telegram channel:
“What is happening in Armenia today was expected. An incomprehensible war took place in Karabakh. Until now, no one understood where the legs grow from. What was the role of Russia here? Pashinyan’s position is unclear. But most importantly, since when has Turkey been giving advice to Armenians? She stands up for Pashinyan. Are they so worried about democracy in Armenia? Better to look at their democracy. What is happening now with the Kurds.
The losing leader does not return to power. We all understand that this is life. You can’t always be a winner. You won today and you lost the next day. I must honestly say: “Guys, I didn’t do it. I am leaving because I do not deserve to be your leader. ” If so, the people will take fate into their own hands, find a new leader and go forward with him. “