Senior members of the Hayastan alliance again pledged to thwart what they say are sweeping concessions to Azerbaijan planned by Pashinian as they led several hundred supporters on an “awareness march” through the city’s northern Arabkir district.
Earlier in the day, a group of Hayastan activists blocked Arabkir’s main thoroughfare, Komitas Avenue, before being detained by riot police.
Several others headed to Yerevan on foot from Pashinian’s hometown, Ijevan. The opposition bloc headed by former President Robert Kocharian promised similar marches to the Armenian capital from three other parts of the country.
“Every day we will be organizing various protests, marches and demonstrations in Yerevan,” Hayastan’s Ishkhan Saghatelian told reporters.
“Our goal is to get our people all over Armenia to rise up over the next five days,” he said, adding that the opposition has scheduled its first “big rally” for Sunday.
“We have come out for a decisive fight,” said Anna Grigorian, another lawmaker representing the bloc. She charged that Pashinian and his political team are “ready to see Karabakh as a part of Azerbaijan.”
Meanwhile, Artur Vanetsian, a leader of the Pativ Unem alliance, led a similar march through the city center. Vanetsian and a group of his loyalists had begun a nonstop sit-in in Liberty Square on April 17.
Vanetsian said on Monday morning that he has succeeded in attracting public attention and that the opposition can now switch to the “second phase” of its “decentralized” campaign.
Pativ Unem and Hayastan jointly rallied thousands of supporters in Liberty Square on April 5 to warn Pashinian against agreeing to restore Azerbaijan’s control over Nagorno-Karabakh. The prime minister met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels the following day for talks hosted by European Council President Charles Michel.
Speaking in the parliament on April 13, Pashinian said the international community is pressing Armenia to scale back its demands on Karabakh’s status and recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. He signaled Yerevan’s intention to make such concessions to Baku.
Some pro-government lawmakers insisted afterwards that Pashinian did not call for the restoration of Azerbaijani control of Karabakh.