Armenians driving for political change

Armenians driving for political change
By Apostolos Staikos
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Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinyan says It’s time to open a new chapter in the history of the country.


Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinyan said on Friday the opposition would boycott any snap parliamentary election unless parliament made him the interim prime minister next week.

Parliament is due to choose a new interim premier next week and Pashinyan has said he is the only legitimate choice for the job, even though he is not a member of the ruling party, which has a majority of seats in parliament.

Armenian politicians have spoken of holding a snap parliamentary election once a new interim premier is in place.

A close Russian ally, Armenia is in the middle of a political crisis after two weeks of anti-government protests that led to the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan as prime minister on Monday.

After two weeks of demonstrations, the Armenian opposition decided to have a break. So, for two days there were no demos in Yerevan. 

However, Pashinyan organised a rally at the city of Gyumri, which is located in the northwest part of the country, about 130 km from the capital.

Organisers estimate that around 10.000 men and women took part in the demo.  Pashinyan addressed the public saying:

"It’s time to open a new chapter in the history of the country."

Pashinyan said he wants to be the next Prime Minister and thinks he is ready for the job. He called on Karen Karapetyan (the acting Prime Minister) to step down and not to repeat the mistakes of Serzh Sargsyan, who was forced to resign on April 23.

Apostolos Staikos, our correspondent in Armenia, says: "From inside and outside of Armenia, many believed that the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan, would put an end to mass demonstrations. 

"However, many citizens remain on the streets, demanding political change, hoping their their struggle will shape the future of their country."

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