Armenian opposition leader becomes sole candidate for interim PM job

by Antonio Miles May 2, 2018, 1:46
Armenian opposition leader becomes sole candidate for interim PM job

Armenia's ruling Republican Party (RPA) have declared that they will not put forward their own candidate for prime minister and will not try to prevent opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan from being appointed.

"Pashinyan was nominated as a candidate for Armenia's prime minister at a meeting of the Elk faction", Elk faction member Edmon Marukyan told reporters. "The National Assembly shall elect the Prime Minister by majority of votes of the total number of Deputies".

Pashinian said Russian Federation has nothing to fear if he becomes prime minister and "in the near future our relations will develop and deepen, which will be in the national and government interests of Armenia".

Pashinian, who was nominated unanimously by his Yelk alliance, led nearly two weeks of street protests in April that forced the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. "Armenia, Russia is always there for you", the diplomat said. He said that the decision would be announced before the voting. "For me it was obvious that the Armenian people waited for the right moment to speak up".

Russian Federation has urged compromise while the United States has called for "a resolution that reflects the interests of all Armenians".

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Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the capital Yerevan on Sunday, hoping that a massive show of strength would propel their leader to power.

"I think this is a unique and great opportunity to resolve the domestic political crisis and to register the victory of the people, the kind of victory in which there are no losers", Pashinyan, a former journalist turned lawmaker, said.

That means Pashinian needs support from at least six members of the HHK to be elected.

Pashinian has led weeks of street demonstrations in Armenia that resulted in the resignation of Serzh Sarkisian from the prime minister's post.

The protest movement had accused him of a power grab, saying he had failed to tackle a litany of problems like corruption, poverty and the influence of oligarchs.


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