Anti-government protests are expected to continue today in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
Since protests began on April 25, demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Anger stems from Pashinyan’s consideration of concessions to Azerbaijan over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. Many opponents of Pashinyan took issue with his April 13 speech, in which hinted at international pressure to trade territory for peace.
Expect the parliamentary opposition faction Hayastan and Vice President of National Assembly Ishkhan Saghatelyan to be especially vocal in their condemnation. In the short-term, potential for violence between police and demonstrators remains. Many activists have been detained, and several cited the use of force by security forces. Nevertheless, anti-Pashinyan politicians and families of soldiers that lost their lives in the 2020 war will continue to call for his resignation. For his part, Pashinyan will likely insist that his statements were not an indication that Nagorno-Karabakh would be surrendered in any capacity. As more towns and factions plan to participate, the movement’s inevitable escalation is likely.
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Ali is a Copy-Editor and Analyst on Daily Brief team, contributing regularly to the Daily Brief. He also leads the Foreign Brief Week in Review multimedia team. He focuses on political and development issues in the Middle East and North Africa.