Pashinyan Says He Won’t Resign Shunning Calls by Opposition, President

November 19,  2020

Opposition protesters demanded Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation on Nov. 18

Armenia’s embattled and increasingly combative prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, said on Wednesday that he had no intentions to resign and instead proposed what he called a 15-point roadmap to confront the challenges facing post-war Armenia.

A roadmap was precisely what President Armen Sarkissian called for on Monday, when, in an address to the nation, he proposed that the government and the ruling party present such a document that would ensure a smooth transition of power through snap elections pursuant to Armenia’s Constitution.

Sarkissian said that early elections were inevitable given that an absolute majority of the political forces, civic organizations representatives and Diaspora structures, with which he held consultations, agreed that a change in government was necessary at this juncture in Armenia.

Defying the president, as well as opposition forces, thousands of whose supporters have been protesting on the streets of Yerevan since last week, Pashinyan said he needed six months to carry out the his 15-point plan and would report to the people in June 2021 of his achievements.

The roadmap resembles a vague wish list and lacks details about critical issues such as confronting the humanitarian crisis facing Armenia and Artsakh as a result of tens of thousands of displaced persons from the war. The first seven points of the proposal address—with no specifics—the humanitarian challenges. The remaining eight point are a laundry list of tasks that signal Pashinyan’s intention to consolidate power by making changes to election and political party laws all under the cover of proposed substantive talks with political forces and Diaspora organizations.

Pashinyan announced that his roadmap would be implemented through significant changes in his government, promising to present a “progress report” in June.

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