Armenia’s Prime Minister who has overseen mass “protests” for over 9 days has just resigned. Serzh Sargsyan was first elected Armenia’s President in 2008 and recently switched positions to become Prime Minister as Armenians have voted to change their form of governance from a strong presidential system to a strong unicameral parliamentary system.
Liberal newspaper owner and business oligarch Nikol Pashinyan whose party currently has only 9 out of 105 seats in Armenia’s National Assembly has been leading protests in Yerevan demanding Sargsyan’s resignation.
While Pashinyan was arrested during yesterday’s protests, he was released early on the 23rd, just hours before the Prime Minister tendered his resignation. Mentioning Pashinyan directly in his resignation, Sargsyan said,
“I address you for the last time as a head of state. Nikol Pashinyan was right. I made a mistake. In this situation, there are several solutions, but I will not resort to any of them. That’s not my thing. I abandon the post of the head of our country”.
Karen Karapetyan who previously served as Prime Minister prior to the shift from a presidential system to a parliamentary system has taken the role as interim Premier. While Russian officials have said little thus far about the events in Yerevan, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said,
“The people who have the strength to keep respect toward each other despite crucial differences and stay united even in the most difficult moments of its history is a great people,Armenia, Russia is always with you!”.