Opposition rally: Day 9 (updated)

11:24 • 21.04.18


The video camera of Azatutyun.am, the Armenian service of RFE/RL, has fixed an episode featuring Arakel Movsisyan, a notorious former lawmaker of the ruling Republic Party, issuing instructions (together with a crowd of people) for closing a highway near Yerevan (close to the village Parakar, Armavir region).

Movsisyan (aka Shmais) said he was “visiting his native village” when asked about the reasons for being there. “Nikol is cheating the people,” he told a correspondent of Azatutyun.

As to comment on the inaction of the police (which, in the past days. banned any attempt to close the motorways), the former parliament member said, “We ordered clarifications, but the policeman didn’t say what exactly they were clarifying.”


The crowd, led by Nikol Pashinyan, the initiator of the civic movement My Move, is walking down Teryan Street. 

The situation is still reported to be tense in Mashtots Avenue. 

In an earlier address to his supporters, Pashinyan said they are again meeting in Republic Square later today for a big public demonstration.



Nikol Pashinyan now continues the rally in Yerevan's Kanaker-Zaytun administrative district.


Tensions have flared up in Mashtots Avenue where the police are trying to push aside the people with shields to keep the roadway open.

Drivers from time to time stop their cars when reaching the protest site, joining the rally and halting the traffic. 

"This is a democratic, not a violent revolution," Pashinyan earlier said, addressing the crowd and calling for a more active civic engagement.




Nikol Pashinyan responded to the prime minister's appeal for a dialogue, insisting on his preconditions voiced at the Friday public event.

The opposition leader, who started today’s rally with a protest march from Yerevan’s Nork Marash administrative district, says he is ready to consider the "terms of Serzh Sargsyan's dismissal".

“I have already said we do not want any vendetta; we do not really want to take revenge. All we want is the maximum swift transfer of power to the people. I also think there may be irreversible losses; this is why I call upon Serzh Sargsyan to immediately accept all our conditions.”

Meantime, Pashinyan said he never uses the language ultimatums in political talks or ever recommends anyone to apply that kind tactics in relation to him. “This stems from a sober evaluation of the situation,” he added.

The opposition MP said he also believes that the former president has serious concerns about the society’s not quite welcoming attitude to his family members. But he guaranteed against such a scenario, saying that “the chapter of hostility is now closed in Armenia”.

He also ruled out the repetition of the March 1, 2008 post-electoral turmoil.

Pashinyan further called for solidarity and strong support by outstanding Diaspora-Armenians (Charles Aznavour, Serj Tankian etc.)

“I am always open to a dialogue [with the premier] provided the conditions of Serzh Sargsyan’s dismissal are the topic of our discussion,” he said, urging other supporters too, to accept his demand.

“Serzh Sargsyan does not control the situation. I don’t think he quite understands what is going on in Armenia,” the opposition leader added.




Protest demonstrations are being held also in Echmiadzin (Armavir region). Scores of activists have been rallying since morining, urging more and more people to join them. Cars passing by the protesters beep now and then in support of the campaign. 

A public demonstration is scheduled to take place in Echmiadzin later today. 



The deputy chief of Yerevan Police asked the opposition leader "to observe law and order".

"If the rally was held with due observance of the public order - without any violation of the law - we, as I repeatedly stated, acompany you to ensure the participants' safety. But we have also repeatedly asked you not to hamper the free movement of traffic," Valery Osipyan added.



As the procession continued, Pashinyan called for an increasing number of people to join them to realize the plan of "Velvet Revolution".  

Despite the police attempts to push through the crowd, the activists walked on, joining the opposition leader's call for attracting more and more supporters. 

Deputy Chief of Yerevan Police Valery Osikyan urged the crowd to end the rally. Pashinyan said their march was a protest action against the police inaction to unkwnon individuals' recent act of violence of "breaking the windows of several activists' cars". 

"The law authorizes any citiezen to conduct an awareness march as long as it is peaceful; it is the obligation of the police to assist in the conduct of the rally," he said.


The crowd started the procession from Davit Bek street. Pashinyan asked the police not to block the highway.



As part of the civil disobedience campaign protesting Serzh Sargsyan’s election as Prime Minister, civic activists on Saturday morning blocked a central avenue in Yerevan’s Nork Marash administrative district.

At the public demonstration in Yerevan’s Republic Square on Friday night, opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan said they would start their procession at 11:00 am today "to step up the campaign for ousting Sargsyan from office”.

Pashinyan, who leads the civic movement Make Your Move, Reject Serzh!, also announced their preconditions for entering into a dialogue with the authorities.

He said particularly that they would accept proposals for a political dialogue “only when and after the incumbent premier resigns” to allow for the election of a new premier (who he said will be “the people’s candidate”).


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