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Armenian opposition to hold anti-government march


Armenian opposition to hold anti-government march

JAM News
Photo: JAM News

Armenia’s largest opposition bloc has called for an anti-government march today.

The Armenia Alliance announced that it would re-launch its “street struggle” in opposition to a controversial redistricting bill before parliament. The bill calls for merging 441 villages, towns and cities into 37 new municipalities. Opposition leaders say the proposed legislation is unconstitutional while supporters of the bill maintain that current administrative divisions hinder economic development.

Armenia’s political environment has been highly polarized since last year’s war with Azerbaijan drove Armenian forces out of large swaths of territory in the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The opposition has fervently demanded Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s ouster, contending that his government has prioritized maintaining power over addressing what is widely viewed as a national humiliation.

Passage of the redistricting bill may be the final straw for Pashinyan’s adversaries as a structural change to the country’s electoral divisions—which they believe are designed to impair their ability to elect deputies—may convince opposition leaders that extra-legal measures must be taken to remove Pashinyan. The extent to which demonstrators turn to violence today will signal how close opposition parties are to this method of recourse.

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