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Armenian opposition leader Galstanyan says plans to meet with PM Pashinyan

He called on his supporters to begin peaceful actions of disobedience starting tomorrow if Pashinyan refuses to step down

YEREVAN, May 26. /TASS/. Armenian opposition movement leader Bagrat Galsanyan, who has been proclaimed as a candidate for prime minister, said he plans to go to the governmental summer cottages after the opposition rally in Yerevan to meet with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

"I invite [Pashinyan]: come to speak with these people not only as a politician but also as a man. If you don’t come, you will have no moral legitimacy. From this square, I will go to the governmental summer cottages to meet with you," he said during the rally.

He called on his supporters to begin peaceful actions of disobedience starting tomorrow if Pashinyan refuses to step down. "We will force these authorities to reckon with people’s demands. Tomorrow morning, everyone, including myself, must be on the Republic Square," he said.

Galstanyan has called on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down peacefully, a TASS correspondent reported.

"Nikol Pashinyan, we need to meet. We have things to discuss. I urge you to resign peacefully, without shocks," he said at the opposition rally.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is in the disaster zone in northern Armenia, which was hit by flooding, but not at a governmental summer cottage where opposition activists are marching, deputy head of the office of the government Taron Chakhoyan said.

"[Opposition movement leader] Bagrat Galstanyan is aware that the prime minister has been in the disaster zone since morning. So, his actions can be seen as purely provocative," he wrote on his Facebook account (Facebook is banned in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist).

Thousands of demonstrators are marching to the governmental summer cottages.

Following torrential rains, the Debed and Aghstafa Rivers overflowed their banks in Armenia's Lori province. Hundreds of residential were flooded, and a highway linking Armenia and Georgia was blocked. According to Armenia’s interior ministry, one person died and more than 230 people were evacuated from the flooded areas.

Grass-roots protests against the delimitation and demarcation of the border with Azerbaijan in the Tavush region and ceding four villages, which used to be part of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic but have been controlled by Armenia since the 1990s, to Baku are coordinated by the Tavush for the Homeland movement. The movement is led by archbishop Bagrat, who has been accused by government-and Western-sponsored mass media, bloggers and experts of being paid by Russia to organize the protests. The movement demands Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation blaming him for ceding territories to Azerbaijan.