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Pashinyan Slams Prosperous Armenia for Claims that Restrictions of Assemblies Serve Political Purposes 

Prosperous Armenia MPs Vahe Enfiajyan and Iveta Tonoyan have stated that they plan to turn to the Constitutional Court with the claim that the ban of public assemblies under the state of exception declared since March 14, 2020 due to the surging COVID-19 pandemic is unconstitutional. This way they vex out against the numerous police detainments of protesters supporting Gagik Tsarukyan and expressing their discontent with criminal charges brought against him. They have also stated of initiating an ad hoc parliamentary committee that will investigate government’s actions in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that Prosperous Armenia’s head Gagik Tsarukyan has taken advantage of in order to criticize the government. He specifically stated that the government failed to tackle the crisis and drove people to poverty and it needed to be changed by 100%. 

In a press briefing on the pandemic situation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reacted to a question on Prosperous Armenia’s criticism that the extended state of exception is used towards resolving political issues. “Who said that people who wish to rally are necessarily those that complain of the current government? Who said that 5, 10, 20, 100 times more people are not going to complain of certain corrupt oligarchs? [than those allegedly supporting Tsarukyan]

I think certain people should be thankful that we have a state of exception and there is no opportunity for assemblies, otherwise supporters of the Revolution would have organized mass rallies and would make their voice heard regarding very specific events, persons and circles,” said Pashinyan.

Pashinyan made it clear that those that claim their right to assemblies is violated due to the state of exception overestimate their capacity for rallying, because they can only hope for bringing a very certain number of people in return for 10.000 drams (so widely distributed in electoral bribery for which Tsarukyan is charged). “Their hopes are doomed to be shattered regardless of the state of emergency”, said Pashinyan hinting that counter-rallies against Tsarukyan would have been much larger or Tsarukyan would have failed to “bring people to protest.”