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Pashinian Government Designates Citizen’s Day To Mark ‘Velvet Revolution’


Demonstrators in Yerevan celebrate the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, 23 April, 2018

The Armenian government on Thursday endorsed a bill designating the last Saturday of April as Citizen’s Day in memory of the victory of “the non-violent, velvet, popular revolution of April-May 2018.”

In a Facebook post on Thursday Pashinian said that Citizen’s Day should be the day marking the victory of the people and democracy rather than the new government.

“And it should become a truly national holiday, a holiday like the revolution itself was,” he said.

“As to what should be celebrated on that day, I think it will also be decided through public, online discussions,” Pashinian added.

By the government’s decision, in cases when May 1 will fall on Saturday, Citizen’s Day will be marked on the last Sunday of April.

Pashinian and his political team came to power following sustained street protests against the government of Serzh Sarkisian who in April 2018 was elected prime minister after two consecutive terms as president following a constitutional reform that curtailed presidential powers in favor of the head of the government.

Facing a popular movement against him led by Pashinian Sarkisian stepped down on April 23, 2018 after only six days in office as prime minister.

Sarkisian’s then ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) eventually had to elect minority candidate Pashinian as the next prime minister to placate mass demonstrations in support of the then popular opposition leader.

Pashinian’s My Step alliance gathered over 70 percent of the vote in the December 9 early parliamentary elections in which the HHK failed to clear the five-percent threshold to be represented in the next National Assembly.

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