YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—A leader of the Armenian opposition said on Friday that it is rethinking the tactics of its “resistance movement” almost six week after starting regular demonstrations aimed at toppling Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Ishkhan Saghatelyan insisted that the protests are not dying down and that the opposition has no plans to suspend or end them.
“Yes, we need a new tactic,” Saghatelyan told reporters. “Therefore, there may be changes in our steps and actions. Right now we are engaged in active discussions and will change some steps and actions.”
He declined to say what those changes will be.
“The movement cannot die down because its collapse or suspension would mean a defeat for the Armenian people,” he said.
Armenia’s main opposition groups represented in the parliament have rallied thousands of supporters on a virtually daily basis since setting up a tent camp in a central Yerevan square on May 1. They accuse Pashinyan of renouncing Armenian control of Nagorno-Karabakh and making other concessions to Azerbaijan that will jeopardize the very existence of Armenia.
Pashinyan and his political allies dismiss the demands for his resignation. They say that the opposition has failed to attract popular support for its “civil disobedience” campaign.
“There is no political crisis in Armenia,” Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Thursday. Echoing statements by other Armenian officials, he said that Pashinyan’s political team won a popular mandate to run the country for the next five years in the 2021 general elections.
Saghatelyan, who has been the main speaker at the protests, dismissed that argument. He said that Pashinyan does not have such a mandate anymore because he broke his election campaign pledge to help the people of Nagorno-Karabakh exercise their right to self-determination.
“They are now talking about ‘lowering the bar’ [on Karabakh’s status] and leading the country to new concessions,” he said.