Galstanyan pledges ‘new phase’ of protests after ruling party scuttles Pashinyan impeachment vote

'Tavush for the Motherland' movement hold a protest action at the Baghramyan-Demirchyan intersection near the National Academy of Sciences building of Yerevan, Armenia

By Mark Dovich

Bagrat Galstanyan, the outspoken archbishop who has emerged as the leader of Armenia’s biggest protest movement since the 2018 revolution, pledged Monday to continue demonstrations aimed at forcing Nikol Pashinyan’s ouster as prime minister.

“Our struggle will continue with new momentum, new energy, new methods, and new faces,” Galstanyan told thousands of his followers at an evening rally outside of Armenia’s parliament. He did not elaborate.

That came just hours after members of the ruling Civil Contract party succeeded in blocking opposition lawmakers from calling a vote to open an impeachment hearing into Pashinyan by boycotting the session. Under Armenian parliamentary rules, a majority of lawmakers must be present for any votes to be held.

Even if the opposition had been able to force a vote of no confidence, it would have been an uphill battle to remove Pashinyan. Forcing the prime minister out of office would take 54 votes. Together, the Armenia and I Have Honor alliances hold 35 seats in the 107-member parliament.

While next steps remain unclear, there is growing speculation opposition lawmakers may move to resign en masse in an effort to paint parliament as illegitimate. Even if all opposition members resigned, that would not trigger fresh elections under Armenian law. For his part, Galstanyan has appeared open to the idea, though he said Monday he believed now was not the time for mass resignations.

Read more: Galstanyan, outspoken archbishop, bids to become Armenia’s prime minister

  • unfairly prejudiced against current government.
    Being anti government doesn’t make you a better media!!!

leave a reply