Representatives of an umbrella alliance of Armenian opposition groups demanding early parliamentary elections and the resignation of the country's prime minister have announced plans to meet with President Armen Sarkisian to discuss the ongoing political crisis on March 7.
The Homeland Salvation Movement, an alliance of more than a dozen opposition groups, is calling on Sarkisian to send Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's decision to dismiss the chief of the General Staff to the Constitutional Court for review.
"We have very clearly presented our demands to the president, we have received assurances that, yes, the issue will be submitted to the Constitutional Court," opposition leader Ishkhan Sagatelian said at a rally in Yerevan on March 6, setting a March 9 deadline for opposition demands to be met and declaring that the fate of the country was in the president's hands.
"You must stand by the constitution until the Constitutional Court declares the dismissal of the chief of General Staff unconstitutional...otherwise you are personally responsible for the situation in the country and its future outcome," Sagatelian said in a message directed at Sarkisian.
Political tensions in Armenia are high, with Pashinian dismissing General Staff chief Onik Gasparian after the prime minister accused high-ranking military officers of attempting a coup by calling on him to resign over his handling of the country's recent war with Azerbaijan.
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Supporters of Pashinian and the opposition have been staging competing rallies in the capital amid the crisis, and the opposition has met twice with Sarkisian to urge him to allow the country's top court to determine whether Gasparian's firing was constitutional.
Sarkisian, whose position as president is largely ceremonial, refused to approve Pashinian's order dismissing Gasparian for a second time on March 2. However, legal experts believe that the order will take effect automatically unless Sarkisian appeals to the Constitutional Court.