Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took to Facebook on Sunday to announce the second and the most important stage of the Armenian revolution. He urged to block entrances to all courts at 8:30 am Monday.
The parliamentary factions issued statements over PM’s call. Bright Armenia party decided to convene an extraordinary meeting of the parliament for which it initiated the collection of signatures. Meanwhile, Prosperous Armenia warned against any anti-constitutional actions and steps.
PM’s call was criticized by political parties and some experts, including former ruling Republican Party of Armenia.
President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian issued a statement urging all citizens, regardless of their public and political position and office, to maintain peace and calmness, and to respect Constitution and laws.
President added that while he is on a business trip abroad, he is in touch with the relevant state bodies, and urged to be sober and tolerant these days.
By the request of PM, people blocked the entrances and exits of the courts, including the Constitutional Court, on Monday morning.
As promised Pashinyan issued a statement in the afternoon saying time has come to carry out “surgical interventions” in the judiciary. He noted that all judges functioning in Armenia shall be subjected to vetting, adding that the introduction of transitional justice mechanisms is already a vital necessity.
“Corresponding legislative work shall take place at the National Assembly to bring to fruition this vital agenda for our country, and to have a truly guaranteed, independent judiciary in Armenia,” he said.
Pashinyan addressed the nation later in the afternoon saying “the action served its goal and the process of creation of independent judiciary in Armenia has commenced.” He called to unblock the courts by 1:30pm.
A capital city Yerevan court of general jurisdiction on Saturday ruled for the release of the second President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, and based on a respective personal pledge.
Kocharyan is charged with breaching the constitutional order of Armenia and, by using his official position, taking a particularly large bribe. Earlier incumbent Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan and second President Arkadi Ghukasyan on Thursday submitted a personal pledge for commuting Kocharyan’s pretrial measure of remanding in custody.
Citizens dissatisfied with the decision of the court to release Kocharyan marched in Yerevan on May 18 and 19.