YEREVAN — Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, who heads the Armenian Apostolic Church diocese in the northern Tavush province, has declared that he is ready to head a new, interim government tasked with stopping the “destruction of our homeland” and holding “pre-term or regular elections.”

Speaking to opposition supporters rallying in Yerevan on Sunday, He said he has therefore asked the supreme head of the church, Catholicos Karekin II, to “freeze my hspiritual service.”

“This is a personal decision reflecting all the sacrifices … that I am ready to make for my holy homeland and state,” the archbishop told the crowd chanting “Monsignor prime minister!”

Galstanyan repeated his demands that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other high-ranking Armenian officials live with their families.

“We will wait until you find a way to meet and talk to us and leave peacefully,” the protest leader said there, appealing to the premier. “There is no other way out.”

“Union of Informed Citizens” conducted a participant count of the rally using aerial photography, revealing that., there were approximately 23,100 people in Republic Square and its surrounding areas.

Galstanyan’s candidacy is understood to enjoy the backing of disgraced former regime and other opposition groups.

Galstanyan again acknowledged that the current Armenian constitution bars him from becoming prime minister because of his second, Canadian citizenship. He repeated his implicit demands for a corresponding change to the constitution.

Hovik Aghazaryan, a senior lawmaker from Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party, said Galstanyan has “no legal grounds” to aspire to the post of prime minister.

“If Archbishop Bagrat expects [lawmakers] to vote for such an illegal decision for some reason, let him not harbor such hopes,” Aghazaryan told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

Founding Parliament Activists Set Free

YEREVAN — Five leading members of Founding Parliament group were released from…

Artsakh is at Heart of AMAA Annual Meeting and Banquet

BY PHILIP TAVLIAN  FRESNO — The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA)…

U.S. Sanctions Azerbaijani Government Official, ACA Calls for Greater Application of Global Magnitsky Act Sanctions

WASHINGTON, DC – Marking the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and International…

Russian President Medvedev to Continue Karabakh Mediation

MOSCOW — President Dmitry Medvedev indicated Russia’s intention to organize further high-level…