top of page

Armenian Opposition Demands Parliament Debate on Pashinyan’s Resignation; Council Rejects Petition

Armenian Opposition Demands Parliament Debate on Pashinyan’s Resignation; Council Rejects Petition

During ongoing anti-government protests in Yerevan, the Armenian opposition made a significant move on Monday to force an emergency debate in parliament regarding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his cabinet.

The opposition alliances, Hayastan and Pativ Unem, formally requested the National Assembly's leadership to convene an emergency session. This request coincided with protesters, led by Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, occupying a section of Bagramyan Avenue near the parliament building. Early in the morning, protesters set up a tent camp after security forces blocked their march through a nearby street closer to the building.

The opposition lawmakers seek a parliamentary debate and approval of a resolution by June 17, declaring that Pashinyan’s government must resign. They argue that his administration has "failed the defense, security, and territorial integrity" of Armenia, leaving the country's sovereignty "under immediate threat." They propose that Pashinyan and his cabinet be replaced by experienced professionals trusted by the public. Artsvik Minasyan of the Hayastan alliance emphasized that this measure is not a vote of no confidence, which was initially demanded by Galstanyan.

Speaker Alen Simonyan, representing the pro-government leadership, indicated that the initiative would be rejected, asserting that Pashinyan and his political team still enjoy popular support.

According to parliamentary rules, an emergency session must be convened if demanded by at least 27 members of the 107-seat legislature. Hayastan and Pativ Unem collected 33 signatures, ensuring the debate must be scheduled by June 17. However, the parliamentary majority can thwart the debate by boycotting it, preventing the National Assembly from reaching a quorum. Simonyan did not specify whether he and his colleagues would employ this tactic.

Addressing supporters on Bagramyan Avenue, Galstanyan warned against any attempts to obstruct the emergency session. He implicitly threatened to block the entrances to the parliament building if such obstruction occurred.

Hayk Konjoryan, leader of the ruling Civil Contract Faction, confirmed that the National Assembly Council rejected the opposition's proposal for an earlier special session. He suggested that opposition members could discuss their concerns during the regular four-day NA sessions starting Tuesday. Konjoryan reiterated that the government has no agenda to discuss Pashinyan’s resignation.

Konjoryan noted that according to NA regulations, a special session must be convened by law if the necessary number of MPs petition for it. However, he added, “That extraordinary session may or may not take place. We do not have such an agenda, with the resulting consequences. That agenda is not debatable for us.”

As the deadline approaches for the emergency debate, the standoff between the government and opposition intensifies. The protesters, led by Archbishop Galstanyan, remain determined, occupying the streets near the parliament and calling for decisive action. With the opposition pushing for significant political change and the government resisting, Armenia stands at a crucial juncture in its political landscape.


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page