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Sunday June 23, 2024

Thousands rally in Armenia against PM

By AFP
June 10, 2024
Demonstrators shout slogans as they attend an opposition rally in Yerevan on May 1, 2022, held to protest against Karabakh concessions.  — AFP
Demonstrators shout slogans as they attend an opposition rally in Yerevan on May 1, 2022, held to protest against Karabakh concessions.  — AFP

YEREVAN: Thousands of Armenians took to the streets in the capital Yerevan on Sunday in a fresh protest against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan´s concessions to arch foe neighbour Azerbaijan.

The protests began in April, when the Caucasus nation´s government agreed to hand back to Baku territory it had controlled since the 1990s.

Pashinyan has not changed his position, despite public opposition from influential archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan.

On Sunday, several thousand anti-government protesters gathered in Yerevan´s central Republic Square, outside government headquarters, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Ahead of the rally, Galstanyan announced the protest movement had reached “a decisive stage”, vowing to “remove Pashinyan from power.”

“We must act, we must increase pressure on Pashinyan,” said one of the demonstrators, 20-year-old student Shushan Sargsyan.

“The very existence of our country is at stake,” said David Ohanyan, 36.

“Armenians must all realise this and take to the streets.”

Galstanyan has called for Pashinyan to be impeached and has temporarily stepped down from his religious post to run for prime minister.

However he is not eligible to hold the office under Armenian law because he has dual citizenship with Canada, and opposition parties do not have enough seats in parliament to launch impeachment procedures.