Breaking: Armenian PM tells army to obey people as thousands rally in his support in Yerevan
Thousands of people in the Armenian capital have filled the streets to voice their support for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who said the military had staged an attempted coup against him, telling generals that they must obey people and steer clear of politics.
According to Press TV, Pashinyan announced in a statement Thursday that the army had demanded he and his government step down, calling on his supporters to hold a rally in central Yerevan, to foil the attempt.
“The most important problem now is to keep the power in the hands of the people, because I consider what is happening to be a military coup,” he said.
After the statement, the premier, 45, appeared with his wife, son, and daughter outside the main government building, where several thousands of his supporters had responded to his call and convened in the center of the capital.
“The danger of the coup is manageable. We don’t have enemies inside Armenia. We have only brothers and sisters,” Pashinyan, a former journalist, told the demonstrators.
Pashinyan: Army must do its job, obey people
Pashinyan called on the army to fulfill its duty and obey the people and elected officials.
Addressing the rally he said, “As an elected prime minister, I am ordering all generals, officers and soldiers: do your job of protecting the country’s borders and territorial integrity,” adding that the army “must obey the people and elected authorities.”
Noting that Armenians would not allow a military coup to take place, Pashinyan said the question of his resignation could only be decided by the people, because he was elected by the people.
Armenian Defense Ministry also issued a statement saying that the country’s army is not a political structure and any attempts to involve it in politics were inadmissible.
“The army is not a political institution and attempts to involve it in political processes are unacceptable. Each such attempt is a threat to the stability and security of the Armenian Republic,” the Defense Ministry added.