A large demonstration called for by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is ongoing outside the National Assembly building in Yerevan as of the evening (local time) of Tuesday, October 2, to protest the approval earlier in the day of a bill that would essentially block any effort to dissolve the parliament. Pro-Pashinyan lawmakers inside the building are reportedly blocking the exits to prevent political opponents from leaving the building. Addressing the crowds in Yerevan, Pashinyan also called on supporters across the country to take to the streets to protest the adoption of the bill. Localized transportation disruptions and an increased security presence should be anticipated surrounding any demonstrations, although significant violence is unlikely.
Pashinyan was elected prime minister by parliament on May 8 after leading three weeks of anti-government protests that saw the ouster of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. The bill put forth on October 2 has been criticized as an effort by Pashinyan's political opponents to stay in power by heading off an effort by Pashinyan to disband the parliament and call for a new election in December.
Individuals present in Armenia, particularly in Yerevan, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, to allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and to avoid all demonstrations.
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