Armenia PM Steps Down Under Pressure


On Monday, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned after 11 days of mass street protests. He will be temporarily replaced by his deputy Karen Karapetyan. Opposition demands early parliamentary elections.

Sargsyan’s premiership lasted only a week. Before that, from April 2008 to April 2018, he was president of the country. The leader of the opposition parliamentary faction Elk Nikol Pashinyan led mass protests against Sargsyan’s return to power in a new capacity.

In the midst of protests on Sunday, Sargsyan briefly met with Pashinyan. The head of government said that “a faction that garnered 7 to 8%, has no right to talk on behalf of the people”, and walked our.

On Monday, he had to admit that he was wrong.

“I made a mistake. In this situation there are several options, but I will not take any of those. They are unacceptable. I leave the post of the head of our country. The street is against my appointment. And I bend to your demands,” Sargsyan said in a press statement.

He also added that he opposes the use of the army to resolve the conflict.

Under the Constitution, the president of the country Armen Sargsyan will accept the resignation of Sargsyan’s government.

Protesters held festive rallies across the country on Monday evening. Pashinyan at the capital’s Republic Sq. said that a provisional government would be formed, after which extraordinary parliamentary elections should be held as soon as possible.

In 2014, Serzh Sargsyan promised not run for the post of prime minister but broke his word.

In 2015, Sargsyan and his Republican Party initiated a referendum to amend the Constitution, as a result of which Armenia became a parliamentary republic and the majority of powers were transferred from the president to the premier. Armenian Republicans garnered 49.5% of the vote and formed a coalition with the nationalist Dashnaktsutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation), which received 6.58% of the vote.

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