An opposition MP from the political faction Yelk (Way Out) on Friday announced a protest campaign in Gyumri “to boycott President Serzh Sargsyan’s possible nomination for the prime minister of Armenia”.
Nikol Pashinyan said he intends to walk from the second largest city to the capital in a 14-day march and conclude his campaign in a public rally in Yerevan’s Liberty Square. Pashinyan said his program includes visits to Gyumri but also the third largest city of Vanadzor, as well as Abovyan, Hrazdyan (Kotayk region) and several other cities and towns.
“I want to offer my apologies to all the towns we are not planning to cross. In our mind’s eye, we will be walking with everybody. Our logic behind selecting this route was that these are the first and second largest cities in Armenia.
We want to make this march a special kind of platform enabling the Armenian citizens to freely express their will,” he said.
Serzh Sargsyan is ending his third term of presidency in April. The latest constititional amendments, adopted in 2015, essentially narrow the president’s authority, giving sweeping powers to the prime minister.
“We must prevent this [Serzh Sargsyan’s promotion to the post of Prime Minister],” Pashinyan told reporters.
The National Assembly elected Armen Sarkissian, a former ambassador to the United Kingdom, as the fourth president of Armenia on March 3.