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Armenian anti-government movement issues 96-hour ultimatum

10 June 2024
The Tavush for the Motherland movement near the Armenian parliament. Image: Narek Aleksanyan/Hetq

Anti-government protesters have blocked a road near Armenia’s parliament, and demanded the government’s resignation within 96 hours. 

On Sunday, the Tavush for the Motherland movement held a rally attended by around 15,000 people, and went on to set up tents blocking a road near Parliament. 

At the rally, the movement’s leader, Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, announced that this was the movement’s ‘final stage’, and that they had four days to achieve their goal of forcing the government to step down. 

‘We can solve the problem if we are on the street for four days, 96 hours — without a break, without sleeping, without going to work — and impose our will,’ said Galstanyan.

After setting up the tents, Galstanyan called on the opposition to convene an extraordinary session of parliament on 11 June, calling for the government’s resignation and formation of a new government. 

The Armenia Alliance and I Have Honour parliamentary opposition factions on Monday petitioned parliament to convene such a session, stating that Armenia’s sovereignty was under ‘immediate threat’. The petition added that it was ‘imperative’ that the country’s administration be ‘with political consent, taken over by professional, experienced persons with public authority in a  peaceful and transitory manner’.  

The proposition was discussed and rejected on Monday afternoon at a meeting of the National Assembly Council, where 13 out of 15 seats are controlled by the ruling Civil Contract party. However, an extraordinary session will be convened on 17 June, within five days of the request, as the requisite number of MPs had applied. 


On Monday, Civil Contract MP Hayk Konjoryan suggested that the ruling party would not participate in the session. 

According to CivilNet, if the petition were adopted, it would not lead to the dissolution of the government and would simply be an expression of the parliament’s position.

Civil Contract has said the move was an attempt to save face because the protests had failed to gain momentum.

Vahagn Aleksanyan, a ruling party MP, told RFE/RL that Galstanyan and the opposition were trying to provoke clashes with the police to create a pretext to halt their protests.

‘In other words, he [Galstanyan] is trying to provoke a clash, a big clash, within the framework of which the action will be dispersed and he will have the opportunity to say: “The revolution was about to take place, but the government stifled this nationwide, universal movement by brute force”.’  

On Monday, Galstanyan announced that if their demand was not met, they would not allow the ruling party MPs to go to work.

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