Renewed Protests at Amuslar Gold Mine
Protests at the Amulsar Gold Mine Project near Jermuk started again on June 4th after having been suspended for eleven days. Protesters closed down all roads leading to the mine site, bringing all work to an halt. The primary demand was that the mine be shut down permanently. Initially protests shut down the mine May 18-23 for five days, before eventually being persuaded by government leaders to reopen the roads, and allowing the mine to demonstrate that it is operating in an environmentally safe manner.
The Amulsar Gold Mine Project, operated by the Anglo-American company Lydian, was the largest source of foreign direct investment into the Armenian economy in 2017, representing one of the largest instances of western investment in the country since independence. The project has received strong support from the American Embassy in Yerevan. It currently employs more than 1,000 people.
Protests in Artsakh
Following a brawl between members of Artsakh’s National Security Service (NSS) and several men, protesters in Stepanakert have closed a main square for the past three days.
Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, as well as Armenia’s first president, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, called for an end to the protests.
HHK Loses Another Parliamentarian
A representative from the Gyumri region, Arman Sahakian quit the faction. Another member, Felix Tsolakyan, an HHK member who twice deviated from the party line and voted for Pashinyan for prime minister, submitted his official – and expected – resignation later in the day. This brings down the HHK’s parliamentary majority to 54. With rumors of more impending defections, it is possible that the HHK will lose its majority in parliament and thus the ability to block bills proposed by the new government or initiate a vote of no confidence.
Police Chief Says Police Department is Now Corruption-free
Valery Osipyan, the police chief recently appointed by PM Pashinyan, today boasted that he has eliminated corruption from Armenia’s Police Department. Osipyan has been in his position for approximately three weeks.