The National Salvation Movement’s candidate for Armenian prime minister Vazgen Manukyan has called on members of the ruling My Step alliance to quit their parliamentary faction to become independent lawmakers, the movement said in a statement.
"Leave the faction and become independent lawmakers. Take personal responsibility for the future of our country and its people. It’s important for you to make a decision free of public pressure but realizing the seriousness of the moment. I am ready to hold any kind of meeting with you to thoroughly discuss the current situation and all issues related to Armenia’s future," Manukyan pointed out.
On Thursday, the supporters and opponents of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took to the streets in the country’s capital of Yerevan following a statement by the General Staff, which demanded the resignation of the prime minister and the government. Pashinyan slammed the demand as a coup attempt and announced his decision to dismiss Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan. According to the Armenian Constitution, it is the country’s president that appoints and dismisses the General Staff’s chief. The Armenian presidential administration said that the president had received Pashinyan’s proposal but had not signed it yet, TASS reports.
Opposition supporters built barricades of trash cans and benches to block Yerevan’s main thoroughfare near the parliament building, and set up tents to spend the night there. Some of the opposition leaders remain with protesters, while others are holding consultations on further action. Manukyan earlier called on activists to keep protesting in front of the parliament building "until lawmakers come and vote to dismiss Pashinyan." Meanwhile, the situation in Yerevan is generally calm, police are not intervening.