Wed, 03 Mar 2021

YEREVAN -- Thousands of protesters have rallied in the Armenian capital to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian over his handling of a six-week war with Azerbaijan last year.

Demonstrators gathered on February 20 in Freedom Square in central Yerevan under a heavy police presence shouting, 'Armenia without Nikol!' and 'Nikol traitor!'

Pashinian has refused calls to step down but raised the possibility of holding early parliamentary elections.

Pashinian, who swept to power amid nationwide protests in 2018, has come under fire since agreeing to a Moscow-brokered deal with Azerbaijan that took effect on November 10. The deal ended six weeks of fierce fighting in and around the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh that saw ethnic Armenian forces suffer battlefield defeat.

A coalition uniting 16 opposition parties has been holding anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan and other parts of the country in a bid to force Pashinian to hand over power to an interim government.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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