MP Nicol Pachinian at a press conference in Yerevan on
April 24, 2018
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pachinian said on Tuesday
he was „ready to lead the country,“ the day after the
resignation of disputed Prime Minister Serge Sarkissian after
11 days of protests.
„Yes, of course, we are ready to lead the country,“ said
42-year-old Pachinian, who was questioned at a press conference
in front of foreign correspondents about whether he was ready
to head the country. government of this former Soviet republic
of the South Caucasus. „If the people entrust me with this
responsibility, I am ready to assume it“.
Earlier in the day, this MP and opponent walked for nearly
two hours with thousands of his supporters from the Republic
Square, the heart of the anti-Sargsyan protest in the city
center of Yerevan, to the memorial dedicated to the victims of
the Armenian Genocide, erected on a hill overlooking the
capital of Armenia.
April 24 is the day of commemoration of the massacres
perpetrated between 1915 and 1917 under the Ottoman Empire. The
authorities had called the day before the 2.9 million Armenians
to the unit for this day of meditation.
A few hours before Nikol Pachinian, President Armen
Sarkissian (unrelated to Serge Sarkissian), Acting Prime
Minister Karen Karapetian and the country’s religious
authorities also gathered in front of the memorial.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Pachinian was to meet with Mr.
Karapetian, a faithful of the fallen Prime Minister, to discuss
the country’s political future.
But this meeting was canceled, told AFP late Tuesday Tigran
Avinian, the spokesman of the party „Civil Contract“ Nikol
Pachinian, without further details.
Members of the opposition wear a giant Armenian flag in
Yerevan on April 24, 2018
Members of the Armenian Parliament have seven days from the
resignation of the Prime Minister to propose new candidates for
the post, and the vote could take place on May 2.
While the Republican Party of Serge Sarkissian has 65 seats
out of 105 in Parliament, Nikol Pachinian called Tuesday night
to hold early parliamentary elections „as soon as possible
(…), in one or two months.“
He assured, however, that „there will be no political
vendetta“ with regard to Serge Sarkissian.
– „I am pro-Armenian“ –
During this first press conference since the victory of the
protest movement, Mr. Pachinian, who spoke Russian and English,
advocated maintaining close ties with Russia, „a brother
„But if anyone says that I’m pro-Western or pro-Russian, it
will be a mistake, I’m pro-Armenian,“ he said.
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters
earlier this day that he hoped „order and stability will be
preserved“ in Armenia.
Opposition supporters gathered for the 103rd
anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman
forces in 1915, April 24, 2018 Yerevan
The Armenians, for their part, were mostly relieved Tuesday
that the demonstrations ended without bloodshed. „I did not
like Sarkisian, but I can not not thank him for not using
force,“ said 72-year-old retiree Achot Minassian.
Recalling the tragedy of Armenians in the early 20th
century, Karen Karapetian said in a statement that „we
(Armenians, ed) today are going through another very difficult
stage in our history.“
„We are showing the world today that, despite the
difficulties and our unresolved internal problems, we remain
together and united,“ he added.
– „Constructive position“ –
In a statement, spokesman for Azerbaijani diplomacy Khimket
Gadjiev said that after the „departure of Serge Sargsyan’s
military dictatorship“, Baku was hoping for a „constructive
position“ from the future government on the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict separatist claimed by both countries.
„It’s so exciting to see Armenians united in peaceful
protests to make a difference,“ US star Kim Kardashian, an
Armenian starlet on Twitter, said on Twitter, hailing „a
The surprise announcement of the resignation of Mr.
Sarkissian came Monday afternoon.
„I am leaving the post of leader of
the country,“ Serge Sarkissian, who was elected prime minister
last week by the deputies after being president for ten years,
laconically said. „Nikol Pachinian was right, and I was
Not having the right to stand for a third term, he had the
Constitution amended to strengthen the powers of the Prime
Minister before being appointed to the post, the new president
having only honorary powers.