Armenia: Protesters Call On Pashinyan To Leave


(Eurasianet) — A burgeoning popular wave of discontent in Armenia over a land-transfer deal with Azerbaijan has washed over the capital Yerevan. Protest leaders are calling for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

What began as a small protest march on May 4 in Armenia’s northern Tavush region steadily picked up supporters along the way before reaching Yerevan. By the time the marchers arrived in the capital on May 9, their numbers had swelled to several thousand. They were led by an Armenian Orthodox cleric, Bagrat Galstanyan, the prelate of Tavush diocese, located about 150 kilometers from Yerevan.

Addressing an estimated crowd of up to 20,000 in Yerevan, Galstanyan accused the prime minister of deceiving citizens on Armenia’s transfer of four villages to Azerbaijan. The rally marked the largest public protest in Yerevan since 2018, when Pashinyan swept into power amid popular unrest with the previous government.

Pashinyan lied, misled, and ultimately terrorized and threatened the people. We have come to demand answers for all of this”, Galstanyan said during the Yerevan rally. The cleric went on to demand Pashinyan’s resignation within one hour.

As of the afternoon of May 10, the prime minister’s office had declined to comment on the protest or the resignation ultimatum.

The trigger for the protests is the unilateral handover of border territories in the northern Tavush region to Azerbaijan, a move that many locals view as a threat to their security and national sovereignty. 

Government officials have portrayed the transfer as a necessary step in efforts to negotiate a durable peace agreement with Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan’s approach to negotiations with Azerbaijan has come under fire from multiple directions: opposition parties, civil society groups, and religious leaders have voiced concerns, highlighting what they perceive as actions detrimental to Armenia’s national interests. Opposition members have characterized Pashinyan’s decisions as “capitulation” and a threat to Armenia’s security and sovereignty. 


Originally published at Eurasianet. Eurasianet is an independent news organization that covers news from and about the South Caucasus and Central Asia, providing on-the-ground reporting and critical perspectives on the most important developments in the region. A tax-exempt [501(c)3] organization, Eurasianet is based at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, one of the leading centers in North America of scholarship on Eurasia. Read more at

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