Hundreds protest against Pashinyan in Yerevan

Hundreds protest against Pashinyan in Yerevan

Hundreds of Armenians blocked streets in the capital Yerevan late on Thursday and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over a ceasefire deal that locked in Azerbaijani territorial gains in Nagorno-Karabakh last month.

Pashinyan has rejected the calls to resign over what his opponents say was his disastrous handling of a six-week war between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabkh enclave and surrounding areas.

Protesters chanted "Nikol is a traitor" and police officers detained several people, Reuters reported.

Earlier on Thursday, a coalition of 17 opposition parties named former premier Vazgen Manukyan as a potential caretaker prime minister to replace Pashinyan until snap parliamentary elections are held.

The move has no legal force, but illustrates public anger against Pashinyan who has accepted full responsibility for the outcome of the conflict, but said he is now responsible for ensuring national security and stabilising Armenia.

Former National Security Service Chairman Artur Vanetsyan said Manukyan could serve as a prime minister without a party affiliation and then call snap elections that he himself would not take part in.

Protest rallies demanding Pashinyan’s resignation have been held in Armenia since November 10.

The Karabakh war ended on the night of November 9-10, 2020 with the victory of Azerbaijan. During the hostilities from September 27 to November 9, the Azerbaijani army liberated the Fizuli, Jebrail, Zangilan and Gubadli districts, parts of the Terter, Khojavend, Khojaly and Shusha districts, including the heart of Azerbaijani culture - the city of Shusha from the occupation forces of the Armenian Armed Forces. From November 10 to 30, the Armenian troops were withdrawn from the Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin regions. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan was restored on December 1.