Rival rallies due in Armenia as crisis deepens

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Yerevan

Supporters and opponents of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were to hold rival rallies in the capital Yerevan Monday amid a deepening political crisis over last year’s war with Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan is under increasing pressure from the opposition for his handling of the war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which saw Armenia suffer heavy losses and agree to hand over swathes of territory to Azerbaijan.

The prime minister last week accused the military of attempting a coup after the general staff called for his resignation, and the opposition has held a series of rallies in recent days demanding he step down.

The political uncertainty is threatening to set off a chaotic power struggle in Armenia, an impoverished ex-Soviet republic on the borders of Turkey and Iran. Pashinyan, who came to power spearheading peaceful protests in 2018.—APP