Ruling Party ‘Ready’ for Talks With Pashinyan; Says Will Replace Sarkisian

Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of protests against Serzh Sarkisian, at a rally in Yerevan on Wednesday
Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of protests against Serzh Sarkisian, at a rally in Yerevan on Wednesday

Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of protests against Serzh Sarkisian, at a rally in Yerevan on Wednesday

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Facing growing pressure to hand over power to Nikol Pashinyan, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia said late on Wednesday that it is ready to discuss “any issue” with the opposition leader following Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.

The Republican Party of Armenia also indicated that it will replace Sarkisian, who technically remains the party chairman, with a new leader.

The Republican Party of Armenia’s parliamentary faction made the announcement after its members met with Sarkisian and acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan to discuss the continuing political crisis in Armenia.

In a statement, it said Sarkisian, who served two presidential terms from 2008-2018, gave “more detailed explanations” for his decision to step down just six days after being elected prime minister by the Republican Party of Armenia-controlled parliament. The ex-president also urged Republican Party of Armenia lawmakers to regard “stability and the country’s security” as their chief priority.

According to the statement, the “second half of the meeting” was held in Sarkisian’s absence and focused on the government’s standoff with protesters led by Pashinyan. The participants agreed to declare that “the Republican Party of Armenia faction is ready to discuss any issues with all sides without preconditions,” added the statement.

The meeting came as Pashinyan, who leads the opposition Civil Contract party, held another big rally in Yerevan to demand that the parliament appoint him as interim prime minister and call snap elections. “We demand an explicit and unconditional capitulation of the Republican Party to the people,” he said.

Pashinyan warned that his supporters will “blockade” the parliament building and the prime minister’s office in Yerevan if the Republican Party of Armenia majority in the National Assembly moves to install Karapetyan as prime minister. He accused the latter of illegally occupying the country’s top executive post.

“We are saying at this square that the Armenian people have a candidate for prime minister and the National Assembly factions must reckon with this political reality and nominate that candidate by consensus,” Pashinyan said, clearly referring to himself. He urged supporters to continue to demonstrate and block streets and roads on Thursday.

Pashinyan and Karapetyan had been scheduled to meet on Wednesday morning. The meeting was called off after the acting premier rejected preconditions set by Pashinyan.

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8 Comments

  1. Norserunt said:

    Nikol and gang are scoundrels. The Armenian street is too emotional and very illiterate when it comes to politics. This combination is a match made in hell. The political situation in Yerevan will prove detrimental to the long term health and well being of the Armenian state. This all also proves beyond any doubt that we Armenians are self-destructive peasants and that we as a people deserve the hardships that have befallen our homeland. The only way to fix what was broken this week is for serious men backed by Moscow, like Karen Karapetyan, to step up and take control. If this is not done, Armenia will suffer terribly in the coming months/years and we will most probably lose major parts of Artsakh.

    God save Armenia from Democracy and its self-destructive peasantry.

    • State of Emergency said:

      The sky is falling…The sky is falling…..Russophile much?

    • AFA said:

      Harsh but true. Nice street protests you’ve got there – but to what end? At best, replace a gang of “oligarchs” and their cronies with a new gang of “oligarchs” and their cronies (except these really have to initially fill their pockets), at worst — ?

    • Serop said:

      Total rubbish, what you is is the words of of a scoundrel supporting the criminal syndicates that control Armenia.
      “serious men backed by Moscow” Are you serious? Are you suggesting we remain the slaves of Russia?
      The controlling families who suck dry the nation, sending their children to buy $20M mansions in US & Europe while over 50% of our people are starving and living below the poverty line. These people must be removed from
      In history whatever ills has befallen us was usually the result of greedy self serving leaders like Kocharyan, Sargissyan & Sargissyans Lap dog Sarkissian
      God save Armenia from fools like you and the criminals that you support who live like Kings & Prince’s while the peasants suffer and their children go sleep hungry every night. These corrup leaders, their clans, their families must all be removed from power and allow real democracy to take hold.
      Lets suffer now, take the pain & loss and become a better natiuon, otherwise as you suggest we will remain another worthless piece to sacrafice on the chess board for Russia

  2. State of Emergency said:

    Will replace Sarkisian with one of his proteges…NO thanks!

  3. Joseph Alekian said:

    I disagree Norserunt. The leadership in Armenia and their political partners in Armenia are the only scoundrels. The western organizations dedicated to spreading democracy in Armenia that have prepared our youth and given them jobs in the NGO and IT sectors are very rational and educated when it comes to politics. This combination is a match made in heaven. The political situation in Yerevan will spread freedom and democracy to the Armenian people. This all also proves beyond any doubt that Armenians cherish Western values and want to live in peace with their neighbors and share in the prosperity that the region’s gas/oil pipelines are providing everyone else besides Armenia. The Armenians don’t need to have good relations with Iran or Russia, the military superpowers that are breathing down their necks. The West has always had Armenia’s back. Armenia needs open borders with Turkey and NATO peacekeeping forces deployed in Karabakh. The only way to fix what was broken in Armenia when it joined the Eurasian Union is a serious woman-man backed organically by the people to step up and take control. If this is not done, Armenia will suffer terribly and continue to risk isolating itself further from the freedom loving world at the expense of its shortsighted nationalism. God Bless the united people of Armenia.

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