“We have already fallen several times, but have managed to get back on our feet again. We will bounce back, but we must learn lessons to build such a country that external forces cannot play on our feelings, come to power again and destroy the country,” Vazgen Manukyan, the candidate of the opposition Homeland Salvation Movement for a caretaker prime minister, told reporters at Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Wednesday.
Noting that following his meetings with citizens he was convinced that all of them favor Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation, Manukyan said at the same time people are worried about whether there is a way out of the crisis in Armenia.
"We insist on conduct of snap parliamentary elections in Armenia, but only after the replacement of the prime minister," Manukyan said, stressing that the man who “told lies throughout the war and is clinging to power will make every effort to rig the elections.”
Therefore, he said, the would-be interim prime minister and his political team should not participate in the elections or remain in power after the elections. Manukyan reiterated the opposition call for early elections and impartiality for holding them.
He believes that there have been evil phenomena in Armenia for 30 years, while the war has become a disaster. According to Manukyan, the evil stemmed from rigged elections, because a person who came to power by falsification has obligations to the falsifiers.
As a result, Manukyan said, some people get privileges, which affects the economy and the development of the country in general.
Asked whether the alliance of 17 opposition parties is at an impasse following the current authorities’ decision to abandon the plan of snap elections and Nikol Pashinyan’s refusal to step down, Manukyan disagreed with the wording, adding their movement is about a political struggle aimed at saving the country from a catastrophe through nationwide efforts.
“Do you realize what we have lost? We have lost everything, we have lost Artsakh, we are losing the borders, we have an ignored country, the leader of which signs any document presented to him,” Manukyan said, adding that it is not for the premier to decide whether to stay in power or not, but the people, and the 17 parties are called upon to organize the public struggle.
Vazgen Manukyan said 90% of the people agree that Nikol Pashinyan should leave.