‘Tavush for the Homeland’ Movement Names Arch. Galstanyan as Prime Minister Candidate

The “Tavush for the Holemland” announced during a rally in Yerevan, attended by thousands on Sunday, that its leader Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan will be the protest movement’s candidate for prime minister of Armenia.

The announcement was made by another leader of the movement, Gurgen Melikyan, who told the crowd that for the past month, meetings and consultations were held with representatives of a diverse groups — political parties, civic organizations and student associations.

“The overwhelming majority of the participants of these meetings and consultations that the candidate, of course, is Archbishop Bagrat,” Melikyan told the crowd.

“We understand that this is critical decision for the archbishop since it will change the course of his life. It is critical decision, however, it is part of his service,” Melikyan added.

Later Galstanyan, who is the Primate of the Tavush Diocese, told the rally that he had asked Catholicos Karekin II to suspend his 30-year clerical service so that he can take political mantle.

“Keeping in mind the expectation of wide circles … regarding being a candidate for the prime minister, and as a result of the discussions with my spiritual brothers under the chairmanship of His Holiness the Catholicos, we have reflected that I cannot combine being a candidate for the prime minister with my spiritual circumstances,” Archbishop Galstanyan told the rally.

“This is a personal decision, taking into account all the sacrifice, expectation that I am ready to put on the altar of my sacred motherland, the state,” Galstanyan added.

“This movement is about having an education system that prepares morally impeccable individuals, having a generation that respects its own identity and values, has competitive knowledge, is able to transform its own country and takes responsibility,” he said.

“This movement is about not having political prisoners, returning prisoners of war from Baku prisons. It is about having an amnesty from the baseless accusations and deprivation of freedom of many of our compatriots in Armenia’s prisons, and turning the prison and detention in general into an environment that not only punishes people, destroys people, but also dominates and reinterprets life,” explained the archbishop.

“Finally, this movement is about creating an equal and dignified life opportunity for our Artsakh sisters in the motherland and returning our forcibly displaced people to their homeland, responding to the demands expressed by the international community,” he added.

The “Tavush for the Homeland” movement was spearheaded by Galstanyan after the Armenian government unilaterally agreed to cede four villages in the Tavush Province to Azerbaijan under the border delimitation process between the two countries.

He began a protest march from Tavush to Yerevan, arriving there on May 9 to a rally attended by tens of thousands of supporters who along with the archbishop are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government.

Comments are closed.