Opposition supporters have started a nationwide strike and set up tents in the capital. They claim they'll stay until the PM steps down, but he said he has no intention of leaving office.
Some 25,000 Armenians descended on the capital, Yerevan, on Tuesday to set up encampments outside government buildings where they plan sustained protests to force the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Opposition politicians and their supporters are now pitching tents adorned with Armenian flags around the capital amid chants of "Nikol is a traitor!"
"The government no longer represents us. Its decisions are illegal and, therefore, it must go," Ishkhan Sagatelyan, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) or Dashnaktsutyun party, told fellow demonstrators. He told those gathered: "We've already set up tents, we intend to stay as long as we have to, including sleeping here. Pashinyan must resign."
Strikes will go on until Pashinyan steps down
Another ARF leader, Gegham Manukyan, announced Tuesday that city transportation workers, as well as members of the Yerevan State University trade union and other business organizations, had joined the nationwide strike called by ARF. Manukyan said the strike.
On Monday, protesters forced Pashinyan to cut short a three-day mourning tour for the country's 3,000 war dead by blocking his route to the border town of Goris. The town's mayor orchestrated the defiant act and was later arrested.
Although the frequency, scale and intensity of demonstrations have grown continuously since Pashinyan signed the peace deal, he said he has no plans to step down. On Tuesday, he took to Facebook to declare, "I will continue to perform my functions as prime minister."