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Armenian opposition to hold protests over recent ceasefire with Azerbaijan


Armenian opposition to hold protests over recent ceasefire with Azerbaijan

Armenia prime minister vote protest
Photo: AFP

Armenian opposition parties will hold protests in the capital Yerevan today.

These protests mark a continuation of the demonstrations that began on November 10 over the signing of a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which brought a formal end to hostilities over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. Yerevan seized control of the Armenian-majority territory in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Nagorno-Karabakh has remained internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. The recent fighting brought much of the territory firmly back into Azerbaijan’s hands.

Today’s demonstrations come after the Armenian government partially lifted martial law. Protesters are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who signed the Russia-brokered ceasefire with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev, which ceded substantial territory within Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan. The protests have labelled Pashinyan a traitor for the ceasefire and demand that it be declared void. If protests continue, it is likely that Pashinyan will be removed from power. Though the Armenian parliament is largely composed of his supporters, Pashinyan himself was brought to power following a wave of popular protests in 2018.

If Pashinyan is ousted, the new Armenian government will likely violate the current ceasefire and resume hostilities with Baku. In this scenario, greater international influence is likely. Turkey, which backs Baku, stated that Armenia would “pay the price” if it broke the ceasefire.

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