MOSCOW (Reuters) – Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday called for more demonstrations against the country’s ruling elite, the Interfax news agency reported, days before the South Caucasus nation’s parliament is due to pick a new prime minister.
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan attends a rally with supporters in the country’s second largest city of Gyumri, Armenia April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Armenia, a close ally of Russia, has been rocked by two weeks of anti-government protests which led on Monday to the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan as prime minister. Sarksyan had previously been president for a decade.
“All protest actions, actions of civil disobedience, should be renewed with new force. The victory of the people must be recognised,” Pashinyan, who has led the daily street protests, was quoted as saying at a rally in the town of Ijevan.
“There can be no violence,” he said.
Sarksyan’s resignation has failed to halt protesters, who say they consider the whole political elite tainted by Sarksyan’s drive to shift power to the prime minister from the president.
They want Pashinyan installed as interim premier and then for early parliamentary polls to take place under a new election law.
Interfax said Pashinyan had called on supporters to organise big demonstrations in Yerevan, the capital, on May 1, which is when parliament is due to choose the new interim prime minister.
Karen Karapetyan, an ally of Sarksyan and a member of his ruling Republican Party, is Armenia’s acting prime minister.
Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn