Armenian opposition announces start of mass disobedience rallies
YEREVAN. Sept 21 (Interfax) - The opposition in Armenia has announced the start of mass civil disobedience rallies aimed at forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
"We are launching mass disobedience rallies which should be joined by residents of [other] regions as well as Yerevan. The issue must be resolved here," opposition co-leader and former Armenian prime minister (1990-1991) Vazgen Manukyan said at Republic Square in central Yerevan on Thursday.
Earlier, the Armenian opposition announced the creation of a national committee to coordinate the bid to depose Pashinyan and his government. Dashnaktsutyun Party spokesman Ishkhan Saghatelyan said that opposition MPs would initiate impeachment proceedings against Pashinyan.
In a video address on Thursday, Pashinyan said Armenian law enforcement's response to the rallies would be firm and swift, and urged the population to stay calm and act within the law. "Otherwise, certain proportionate and strict countermeasures will apply. All the competent agencies have received instructions from me," he said.
Meanwhile the Armenian Hraparak newspaper, citing sources, said on Thursday that during rallies on September 19-20, the prime minister told members of his team that he was "not going to resign and will retain power at any cost."