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Armenia sets date for prime minister vote

April 26, 2018

Opposition protest leader Nikol Pashinian has said he wants to become prime minister. It's unclear if he will get support from parliament where the Republican Party has a majority.

Protesters carry the Armenian flag during demonstrations in Yerevan
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/TASS/A. Geodakyan

Armenia's parliament will vote for a new prime minister on May 1, its speaker Ara Bablayan said Thursday.

Opposition protest leader Nikol Pashinian has said he is prepared to be a candidate.

Serzh Sarksyan quit as prime minister on Monday following two weeks of street protests over alleged corruption and cronyism. 

Sarksyan moved to the premier position earlier this month after 10 years as president. Protesters accuse him of attempting a power grab under a new parliamentary system of government.

Read more: Armenia: Serzh Sargsyan resignation a blow to Russia foreign policy

Pashinian and his supporters are demanding that parliament choose a "people's candidate" who is not from the ruling Republican Party for the role of prime minister. Pashinian wants to hold new elections, reform the electoral code and carry out wide reforms of the political system.

Protests resume in Armenian capital

Only about 8 percent of seats in parliament are held by the Way Out Alliance tied to Pashinian, who is seeking to gain the support of other opposition groups to become prime minister.  The Republican Party holds a majority in parliament.

Pashinian has threatened extended protests, which continued Thursday, if the Republican Party nominates a candidate. 

The deepening political crisis in Armenia, an ally of Russia, has sparked concerns over destabilization in the combustible Caucuses region, where there is a decades-long territorial dispute between Armenia with Azerbaijan.

cw/kms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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