Pashinyan announces "revolution against reality"
Despite Prime Minister Nicol Pashinian's calls, an extraordinary session of the Armenian parliament passed today a set of amendments to the Law on the Regulations of the National Assembly in the second and final reading, which allows lawmakers to insure themselves against a possible dissolution of the parliament.
Initially, an amendment to the law concerned only the need for the government representative to be present at meetings of the National Assembly when discussing bills that were approved of by the government.
The bill was approved by 67 lawmakers, representing not only the ruling-turned-opposition Republican Party of Armenia, but also the Prosperous Armenia and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF or Dashnaktsutyun), who are members of the incumbent coalition government.
Earlier in the day, Pashinyan said he was dismissing all governmental ministers and regional chiefs who are members of the Prosperous Armenia and ARF. The Prosperous Armenia currently has four governmental ministers and two governors in its ranks, and the ARF has two ministers and two governors.
The Armenian prime minister also said that he would resign soon to speed up the process of dissolving the current parliament and holding early parliamentary polls, but will remain the acting head of the Armenian government.
"I’m getting ready to tender my resignation, but I will announce the date later. We need this in order to hold early parliamentary polls. I think that the people will not let a new premier be elected during this period," Pashinyan said.
Thousands of supporters of Pashinyan gathered outside the country’s parliament yesterday following the adoption of a bill that complicates the procedure of dissolving the parliament.
Pashinyan told his supporters to end their protest and go home. "Please, greet law-enforcement officers and go home. Counter-revolution in Armenia will fail," TASS cited him as saying.
Speaking to the rally on Tuesday, Pashinyan promised to sack six ministers in his government from Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun and said he would meet lawmakers to discuss the situation.
The PM reiterated his pledge to resign in the coming days in order to speed up the dissolution of the parliament. He also said he would soon appoint new ministers instead of those he sacked. He also said he wanted elections to be held in the first half of December, adding that the composition of parliament did not reflect the country’s political reality.
Pashinyan told his supporters that after negotiations with the parliamentary leaders of the Republican Party of Armenia, the Tsarukyan bloc and the ARF Dashnaktsutyun he was assured that they will not field candidates for the post of prime minister in case of his resignation. "Representatives of the parliamentary forces said that they understood the message of the people and respect it. They verbally assured me that, regardless of the memorandum, they are not going to nominate a prime minister’s candidate," Pashinyan said.
Addressing the crowd, the PM noted that this is a completely new phase in Armenia. "We want to change the reality, the past is irreversible," Pashimyam said, urging to refrain from personal insults aimed at any political figures.
Armenian President Armen Sarkisyan has spoken on phone with Pashinian and parliament speaker Ara Babloyan to discuss the existing situation.
The president urged political forces to remain calm and tolerant towards each other, stressing that the existing situation must be settled in the framework of the Constitution and laws through negotiations and dialogue, the presidential press office said.
The deputy chairman of the Armenian National Congress party Aram Manukyan, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Nikol Pashinyan risks nothing, when he gets tough with his former allies, because his influence relies not on agreement with the political forces of Armenia, but on public confidence. "In fact, the ARF and RPA have never been considered as such Yelk's true allies. Pashinyan’s one true ally is the people. It is very well felt in Yerevan, that the people trust Pashinyan, which makes him the most powerful man in the republic. The people gather in one place within 30 minutes to support him. I am an optimist and I think that he will succeed in doing what the people want, and the parliamentary elections will be held in December," he said.