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The former president of Armenia broke the promise not to return to politics. Yerevan covered mass protests

Photo by Asatur Yesayanets, Sputnik-Armenia

On April 13, large-scale protests began in Yerevan against the decision of Serzh Sargsyan, who for the past ten years was the president of Armenia, to be nominated for the post of prime minister of the country.

Russian media in the usual manner called the Yerevan events “Maydan”. Let’s try to figure out what the cause of the protests is.

New order

December 6, 2015 in Armenia passed a constitutional referendum, at which citizens voted to change the form of government in the republic – from presidential to parliamentary. The year before, Sargsyan promised that he would no longer be nominated for either the presidential or the prime minister’s post.

Serzh Sargsyan at a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office

On March 2, the Armenian parliament elected the president for the first time : 90 out of 101 deputies voted for former ambassador to Great Britain Armen Sargsyan. The elected president took office on April 9 – this event completed the country’s transition to a parliamentary republic.

Powers of Serzh Sargsyan’s over, and it operates at a government headed by Karen Karapetyan filed to resign. The election of the new Prime Minister was scheduled for April 17.

Inauguration of Armen Sargsyan. Photo of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia

Unfulfilled promise and consequences

After the inauguration of the fourth president of Armenia, rumors circulated that the ruling right-conservative Republican Party of Armenia is still going to nominate Sargsyan as a candidate for the post of prime minister of the country. April 11 this information was officially confirmed .

Naturally, this is Serzh Sargsyan. Another candidate we did not discuss

Edward Sharmazanov
spokesman for the Republican Party

When it became clear that Sargsyan did not keep his word and decided to run for the post of prime minister, the deputy of the National Assembly of Armenia and the leader of the liberal bloc “Elk” (“Exit”), Nikol Pashinyan called on the dissatisfied to take to the streets. The protest movement that emerged on April 13 was called “Take a step, reject Serzh”.

Nikol Pashinyan. Photo by Asatur Yesayanets, Sputnik-Armenia

The main goal of the protesters was the disruption of voting in the parliament and the appointment of re-elections. To do this, they blocked the main streets of Yerevan, plunging the Armenian capital into transport chaos.

Map of the overlap of streets in Yerevan. Original Shushanik Sargsyan, Sputnik-Armenia

Protest actions were supported by more than 10 thousand people who try not to show aggression and behave peacefully. As a sign of the peaceful nature of their intentions, they enter the seized buildings with their hands up, in order not to give the local police a reason to detain themselves.

The future of the country

April 17 in the Armenian parliament will be the election of a new prime minister, who owns the most important powers in government. The main candidate is Serzh Sargsyan.

Protesters surrounded the building of the Armenian National Assembly, and the Yerevan police blocked the approaches to the building with barbed wire. Water jets and heavy equipment have been put on the scene.

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