YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Opposition leaders promised on Friday, January 15, more efforts to force Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign as they began touring Armenia’s regions in a bid to drum up greater support for their campaign.
The two leaders representing a coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties met hundreds of supporters in Gyumri at the start of the tour. They admitted that protests staged by their Homeland Salvation Front following the Russian-brokered ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh failed to attract large crowds.
“I thought that that there are one million people in Yerevan and they all will take to the streets because they were humiliated, but people were so depressed and aggrieved … I know many people who cry at home but don’t bother to come out. We have a lot to do about that,” said Vazgen Manukyan, a veteran politician who has been nominated by the opposition alliance to serve as a caretaker prime minister.
“Many people sitting at home are urging us to act more resolutely,” complained Ishkhan Saghatelyan of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), a key member of the alliance.
“People must take to the streets, organize themselves and oust this government. There is no other option,” he said, adding that the alliance will also keep pressing pro-government lawmakers to stop supporting Pashinyan.
“That Nikol will leave is a fact … He won’t avoid that. The question is when he will do that,” claimed Saghatelyan.