After rising tensions in the Kasakh village of Kotayk Province, where the residents took to the streets to protest the new appointment of an acting head of Kasakh, police officers began patrolling the village.

On Friday morning, 19 November, the protest started when the residents took their opinion to the village council. The head of the village, also arrested a few weeks ago for reasons unknown, was reported to have gone on vacation, according to the deputy head of the village Artak Tovmasyan. He also noted that he has now been appointed the acting head.

However, the LAbor Code of Armenia prohibits the dismissal of an official on leave as well as the appointment of any interim officials for the position. It is precisely this violation of the Labor Code that the residents of Kasakh are protesting against.

The new acting head, Artak Tovmasyan, was actually appointed by the regional governor. He is also a member of Pashinyan’s bloc and the ruling Civil Contract Party. Furthermore, he is on the electoral list of the ruling party for the upcoming local elections, the self-government elections in the Nairi community (which includes the Kasakh community).

The reports of the protesters reveal that the village council is currently closed by the guards as a sign of protest, ensuring that the new acting head cannot enter the building. At one point, the situation became really tense, but it resolved after a short while. Still, police officers remained on the streets of Kasakh and are observing the protest until further notice.

The mayor of Kasakh is also the father of Anna Mkrtchyan, an Elected Member of the National Assembly from the national electoral list of the “With honor” alliance of parties.