YEREVAN (ARKA) — Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, only candidate for the post of prime minister in a vote scheduled for May 8, called on his supporters in a video placed on his Facebook page late on Friday urging them to be ready to defend the ‘velvet revolution’ at any time.
He said the situation is likely to change at any moment, at any hour, and that is why the popular movement should be ready to double its strength to fix the final victory of the people.
Pashinian was referring to numerous media stories and theories claiming that some forces are preparing a counter-revolution, trying also to win over opposition political forces. “Of course, we check all this information to keep our hand on the pulse. I want to say directly – it is possible that at any moment we can ask you to come to the square with new forces to block all streets and quarters,” he said.
The opposition leader stressed that no one should have illusions that the corrupt system would surrender easily, calling on his supporters to be vigilant.
“I do not exclude scenarios in which opposition forces for one reason or another will also become involved in counter-revolutionary processes, and we must be able to react very quickly to bring our victory to its logical conclusion,” Pashinian said, adding that all their actions should be within the framework of the principles announced by the movement.
At the same time, Pashinian stressed that he does not doubt the victory of the peaceful “velvet” revolution,” and those who will try to impede it will face political and self-destruction, since today 90% of the Armenian population support the revolution.”
Weeks of antigovernment protests led by Pashinian forced two-time former president Serzh Sarkisian to resign as prime minister just days after he was elected to the position by the parliament, controlled by his Republican Party of Armenia.
Pashinian, nominated by the opposition parliamentary bloc Yelk for the post of prime minister, secured the backing of 41 lawmakers in the 105-seat parliament, not enough to win the vote. To date he is the only candidate for the post in a repeat vote on May 8.
The Republican Party that thwarted Pashinian’s first attempt to become prime minister said later it would not nominate its candidate for the post and would support Pashinyan’s candidacy.