By Vafa Ismayilova
About 60 oppostion members have been detained in a Yerevan protest demanding the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, news sources have reported.
The protest, which was launched by the Movement to Save the Motherland, ended on February 23.
"We end our action today. However, the protest actions will continue tomorrow [February 24] and Thursday [February 25 in Yerevan], in the country's regions as well," Gegham Manukyan, member of the Dashnaktsutyun party, said.
In the morning of February 23, police detained about 60 opposition members who tried to close up the third block of the government building where Pashinyan was. During the detention, several opposition members received minor bruises. Later, several thousand people blocked a police building in central Yerevan, demanding a meeting with the head of the police department, Vahe Ghazaryan, but he never came out to meet the protesters. As a result, the protesters left the territory.
Protests calling for Pashinyan's resignation have been under way in Armenia since November 10, 2020. The opposition blames him for economic and social problems. Opponents of the prime minister also argue that the joint statement on the complete cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, which he signed on November 10 along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, was actually a surrender. In light of this, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan earlier called for early parliamentary elections.
Pashinyan himself stated that he was ready to resign if the main opposition forces sign a memorandum on holding early parliamentary elections, until which he will retain the status as acting head of the government. The opposition rejected this initiative.
On November 10, Baku and Yerevan signed a Moscow-brokered deal that brought an end to six weeks of fighting. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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