ArmInfo.The rally organized by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the Republic Square started with a minute of silence for the heroes who died in the course of the large-scale military aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh.
Then a minute of silence was paid to the memory of the victims of March 1, 2008. Then, in his welcoming speech, the prime minister stated that the country is going through difficult times today, but at the same time urged to fill the first day of spring with optimism and victory. He also noted that he is sure later there will be a lot of speculation on the topic that the authorities used the administrative resource, and many people from different regions were brought to this square. However, according to him, the only answer to this will be the spirit of unity that is present in this square. Pashinyan also stated that for 13 years in Armenia, events have been held in memory of the victims of March 1, 2008. "Today we are holding this event in completely different realities - the grave consequences of the second Karabakh war, many victims and prisoners, the continuing propaganda of violence, attempts to involve the Armed Forces in political processes have posed new challenges for us. Managing these challenges depends on the future of our country and people. Now we are approaching the point when opportunities for error are running out, "Pashinyan said, adding that there have been serious mistakes both over the past three decades and under his government. In this regard, he asked forgiveness from all RA citizens for their mistakes.
Speaking about the mistakes made by his government, Pashinyan expressed his conviction that one of the main reasons was that they were too loved by the people and, in search of ideal solutions for the people, they often did not act, and as a result, they had to choose between the worse and the worst options. ...
At the same time, he promised to correct all the mistakes made and build a prosperous Armenia. Pashinyan noted that there were certainly omissions, but there were also achievements and the main thing is to prevent devaluation of these achievements. According to him, their most important achievement was that the power in this country belongs to the people and this should remain unchanged. "They want to take power away from the people. But we came here to say that we will not allow this. We will not allow this achievement to be destroyed. Power in Armenia will remain the highest value in Armenia," the Armenian Prime Minister said, adding that it does not matter who is on this square, he will have to be elected by the people.
Speaking about the events of March 1, 2008, he noted that the then authorities directed the army against the people. "It is very important that there are people in front of the court in the March 1 case. And yes, I would like to say that, according to my assessment, the March 1 case was solved. Despite the fact that the shooters were not identified, the background on which these murders were organized was revealed. You will see this during the trial, "the Armenian Prime Minister assured.
Pashinyan accused the then authorities of concealing and destroying evidence in the March 1 case.
The Prime Minister also said that the forces that organized the March 1 events are still trying to raise the army against the people. " I cannot give other assessment to the statement of the General Staff of Armenia. They want to send the army against the people," Pashinyan said, adding that among these people is the third President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, who has authority and influence in a number of circles among the military.
The head of the government also called the statement of the RA General Staff illegal and stressed that the General Staff thus took an oppositional position, thereby violating the RA Constitution on the inadmissibility of the army's involvement in internal political processes.
The RA Prime Minister also assured that in 2018 his party stopped the involvement of the army in the velvet revolution, stating that the army and the Armed Forces should be apolitical. "And today the political forces known to you are trying to induce the army to bring tanks against its own people. But this will not happen. Moreover, Gasparyan's statement makes his dismissal from the post of Chief of the RA General Staff inevitable," he said, accusing Gasparyan of taking steps by Serzh Sargsyan 's instruction.
At the same time, the prime minister assured that there will be no political vendetta in Armenia. Pashinyan also accused Onik Gasparyan of treason. "I appointed him to the post, I cannot qualify his actions in any other way as a betrayal. Onik Gasparyan must leave, and the rest of the signatories must return to their work," the prime minister added.
Speaking about further activities, the Prime Minister recalled the statement of the Armenian Security Council and noted that he again sent the draft decision on the dismissal of Gasparyan to the RA President. Pashinyan expressed hope that the RA President will make a decision that will proceed from the stability and security of Armenia.
The head of government promised to amend the Constitution of Armenia and announced a possible transition to a semi-presidential form of government.
At the same time, the Prime Minister touched upon the issue of holding early parliamentary elections and noted that they had previously proposed to hold them as a step of solidarity, while the opposition forces, primarily parliamentary ones, constantly refused, and the authorities concluded that they were unnecessary. Pashinyan accused the opposition forces of proposing elections, being sure that the authorities would not agree to them (note that for the first time Pashinyan himself spoke about the early parliamentary elections, and not the opposition forces - ed. note), as the leader of the "Bright Armenia" party Edmon Marukyan stated yesterday.
"If the parliamentary forces accept our formed proposal to hold early elections, we will agree to hold these elections, because we are convinced that the people are able to form the legitimate government in this country. I challenge the opposition, let's go to the elections and see who the people elect ", - said Pashinyan, adding that the elections pursue one goal, and the authorities will not seek victory in these elections. At the end of his speech, he also touched upon the issue of prisoners of war, noting that he did not consider it advisable to make this issue public, and the events of the past week created a number of problems, however, the authorities will do everything to return all prisoners.
Then, the RA Prime Minister called for the march along the route Mashtots Avenue - st. Koryun-st. Abovyan - laying flowers at the monument to Myasnikyan.
To note, the rally of the authorities is quite crowded, but the square is not full. Note, also, that a large number of law enforcement officers are gathered on the square.