Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday announced that he would begin consultations with parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forces to hold snap elections in 2021. His announcement, however, disparaged those very extra-parliamentary parties, which have been calling for his resignation since he signed the November 9 agreement that ended the Karabakh War, but forced the surrender of territories in Artsakh and Armenia to Azerbaijan.
He made the announcement in a Facebook post, the translation of which is presented below.
Fellow Armenians, Dear Compatriots.
It has now become evident that the opposition efforts of demanding the resignation of the prime minister did not receive the people’s support.
The opposition had all the opportunities to generate popular support around its demand. It has huge financial, media and organizational resources. It had ample opportunities to organize rallies and protests, but not only could it not garner popular support for its demands, but also the number of its supporters was reduced to a minimum. The processes in the squares have been vanquished.
No one can say that we have stayed power by using brute force. On the contrary, we are being faulted for unnecessary mildness.
All of this, however, does not in any way change our political team’s and my personal commitment to stand before the people and answer to the people. I am not clinging on to the prime minister’s position, but I also cannot have an uncaring attitude toward the government—the position prime minister—that was handed to me by the people.
The future fate of that position and the political leadership of the country must be decided by the people through the expression of their free will, and I, as the Prime Minister of Armenia, consider myself the guarantor of that free expression.
I am also ready to leave the position of prime minister based on the people’s decision. And I can leave the post of the prime minister only by the decision of the people.
I am also ready to continue leading the Republic of Armenia during these difficult times in the event that the people’s trust is re-established.
There is only one way to get the answer to all these questions: to hold extraordinary parliamentary elections.
Based on the above, I invite the parliamentary and interested extra-parliamentary forces to consultations on holding special parliamentary elections in 2021.