National Salvation Movement leaders and supporters staged a protest outside parliament on Friday in response to the appointment of two members to Armenia’s Supreme Judicial Council, who were installed only by votes of the ruling My Step bloc.
On Friday, Armenia’s National Assembly voted to install Gagik Jahangiryan and Davit Khachaturian to serve on the judicial body. Opposition lawmakers refused to participate in the vote.
The National Salvation Movement accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his My Step alliance of appointing of stacking the judiciary with justices that are loyal to their agenda.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation member Sevak Nazaryan singled out Jahangiryan in comments during the protest, saying that the newly-appointed judge has a checkered past, accusing the authorities of violating Armenia’s Constitution and appointing an individual who will fulfill the will of the authorities.
“It is clear for us that [the vote] has only one purpose: to abscond the judicial branch of the government, which despite threats by Nikol Pashinyan, has shown that it is able to maintain its independence,” said Nazaryan.
“They [the ruling bloc] want to usurp the judiciary so they can continue their illegal efforts of pressuring, arresting and their unlawful judicial rulings, which they think will avert a change in government,” added Nazaryan, who accused the ruling bloc of violating the constitution and the law only to prolong their leadership.
“This is why we have gathered here to raise our voices in protest and alert all citizens that with every day that Nikol Pashinyan continues to remain in power he brings renewed lawlessness and strikes new blows to our statehood, with which he is destroying the foundations of our homeland,” said Nazaryan.