Armenian protests leader says will only talk with government if journalists are present
20:40, 26 April
Another demonstration is underway in Yerevan for the transfer of power and the complete removal of the Republican Party of Armenia.
The first speakers at the protest have called on the people not to allow anyone to be elected as Prime Minister other than the ‘national candidate’ – the leader of the protest movement, Nikol Pashinyan.
The speakers promised the public that they only need to hold out a little longer and that now is not the time to take a step back.
Nikol Pashinyan himself thanked people for their support in choosing him as their candidate. He believes that the parliament must approve the de-jure will of the nation.
Elections for the prime minister will take place on 1 May.
“Either I will be elected as prime minister via the support of the nation, or Armenia will have no prime minister,” Pashinyan said.
Then Pashinyan invited the acting PM of Armenia Karen Karapetyan to negotiations on 27 April at 12:00 at the Marriott Hotel. He stated that the negotiations must take place in the presence of journalists.
Representatives of the Republican Party had called for negotiations on multiple occasions, albeit without the presence of the press.
19:50, 26 April
Citing the Kremlin website, the Armenian media has reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with the acting Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan. The Kremlin’s statement is ambiguous in nature:
“…the regulation of the critical situation in Armenia must take place exclusively within the legal realm, within the framework of the current constitution and on the basis of the legitimate results of the parliamentary elections that took place in April 2017. In this context, the importance of the election of the prime minister of the republic scheduled for 1 May 2018 is emphasized.”
As a result of the parliamentary elections of 2017, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia received the parliamentary majority.
16:25, 26 April
A new date has been set for the election of the prime minister in Armenia.
Ara Babloyan, the National Assembly speaker, said the election is scheduled for 1 May.
During yesterday’s protest rally at Republic Square, participants confirmed that opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan would stand as the people’s candidate for the post of prime minister.
The Armenian National Assembly will elect the prime minister via a majority vote. However, it’s still unclear whether or not all parliamentary forces will vote in favor of the ‘people’s’ candidate, who is also the nominee for the Yelk opposition faction.
The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) may also nominate a candidate. Gagik Minasyan, an MP and a member of the RPA executive body said that the party would convene a meeting ‘to discuss issues related to the nomination of its candidate for prime minister’. Serzh Sargsyan who was the leader of the RPA recently stepped down from the post of Prime Minister. His party held a meeting yesterday in which it reportedly agreed to discuss any issues with all the parties without any preconditions.
This means that the authorities will consider the next steps on the agenda as proposed by Nikol Pashinyan:
- Election of the people’s candidate for the post of prime minister
- Formation of a provisional government
- Conduct a snap parliamentary election
Protests are still underway in Yerevan alongside the political processes. The youth keep blocking the streets, while students and pupils still miss classes at universities and schools. The movement organizers issue statements from time to time, warning participants against driving without state license plate numbers (so as to avoid provocations and acts aimed to discredit the disobedience movement) as well as against littering the area and making noise after 11 pm.