One of them, Bright Armenia (LHK), has not joined street protests organized by a coalition of 16 opposition groups accusing Pashinian of mishandling the war with Azerbaijan. Nor has the LHK backed an interim prime minister nominated by them last week.
“The prime minister symbolizing our defeat must resign. The parliament should choose an interim prime minister because this parliament obviously cannot serve out its constitutional term,” LHK leader Edmon Marukian said during parliamentary hearings organized by his party.
Marukian stressed at the same time that the Armenian opposition and the parliamentary majority representing Pashinian’s My Step should work together in trying to end the post-war political crisis in Armenia. They should do everything to prevent violent unrest in the country, he said.
Prosperous Armenia (BHK), the second parliamentary opposition party, is a key member of the opposition coalition holding anti-government rallies in Yerevan. It has given Pashinian until Tuesday to resign or face nationwide “civil disobedience” actions.
Naira Zohrabian, a senior BHK parliamentarian, said such actions are inevitable because Pashinian is unwilling to step down.
“He will not quit before provoking violent clashes,” claimed Zohrabian. “We must to everything to prevent such clashes.”
My Step lawmakers boycotted the parliamentary hearings.
One of them, Andranik Kocharian, rejected at the weekend the opposition demands for Pashinian’s resignation and accused the opposition of plotting a violent overthrown of the government. He rejected any parallels between the ongoing opposition demonstrations and the protest movement that brought Pashinian to power in 2018.
“The state must protect state structures, the government,” Kocharian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “This government has a high degree of legitimacy even in this difficult, depressing post-war situation.”
Echoing Pashinian’s statements, Kocharian insisted that the current government should stay in power to “maintain stability” and cement the ceasefire in and around Karabakh.