ARMENIAN PREMIER SLAMS MILITARY FOR STAGING COUP ATTEMPT
In the midst of a domestic political crisis, the Armenian military has demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who in turn accused the generals of attempting a military coup, Hannah Wagner and Avet Demuryan reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
"It is the clear conviction and stance of the generals and officers, with one purpose – to serve for the salvation of our homeland at this critical moment," the Armenian Armed Forces said in a statement cited by news agency Armenpress.
"The prime minister and the government are no longer able to make reasonable decisions," the military said in an earlier statement.
Pashinyan spoke on Facebook however of an "attempt at a military coup" and immediately announced the dismissal of the head of the armed forces' general staff, Onik Gasparyan.
Pashinyan called on his supporters to gather in the capital of the South Caucasus republic, Yerevan, on Republic Square.
The military representatives noted in their statements that Pashinyan had recently dismissed the deputy chief of general staff. Pashinyan has been under extreme pressure since the end of fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh more than three months ago because the opposition holds him personally responsible for the defeat to Azerbaijan.
Most recently, tens of thousands of people called for his resignation in new protests, which Pashinyan has repeatedly refused to accept.