Armenian PM steps down in bid to consolidate power | News | DW | 16.10.2018
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Armenian PM steps down in bid to consolidate power

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan seeks to gain control of parliament through early elections. Pashinyan came to power last spring in the wake of anti-corruption protests.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his resignation on Tuesday during a live television broadcast. The move was a political maneuver aimed at forcing early elections and thus giving him control of parliament.

"My dear and proud people, today I tendered my resignation," Pashinyan said, vowing to "ensure the free expression of people's will during snap parliamentary elections."

Pashinyan, 43, came to power in May, after weeks of leading anti-government protests that eventually ended the career of his predecessor, Serzh Sargsyan. The former journalist then began to force veteran elites out of power in a bid to reform the former Soviet nation.

Read more: Ex-Armenian President Robert Kocharian arrested

But his attempts to root out corruption have been met with resistance by the legislature, which is filled with lawmakers loyal to Sargsyan. Without a snap election, a new parliamentary vote wasn't scheduled until 2022.

Technically, Pashinyan's opponents in the legislature could appoint a new prime minister before the vote, though he has reportedly received promises that they won't. He warned on Tuesday that Sargsyan's loyalists would "cross the red line" if they tried to appoint a different leader.

es/aw (AP, AFP)

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