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Armenian opposition nominate Pashinyan for PM

01 May, 2018, 15:18 | Author: Ted Wilson
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Supporters of Armenia's opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan rallied in the capital on Sunday, hoping that a massive show of force two days ahead of a parliamentary vote will help propel him to power.

Pashinyan, a lawmaker with the Elk faction, may become Armenia's prime minister in case he scores the votes of 53 out of 105 lawmakers (simple majority).

Note that the extension was agreed at today's meeting of the faction members with Pashinyan. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) decided not to field a candidate.

The opposition, consisting of Tsarukyan's Prosperous Armenia Party, the Yelk (Way Out) block, of which Pashinyan's Civil Contract Party is a part, and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, hold 47 seats in total.

Moscow has two military bases in the ex-Soviet republic, and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Karen Karapetyan, the acting prime minister, on Thursday and made it clear Moscow was watching and did not want mob rule.

Prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was forced to resign on Monday, and Pashinyan is now seeking the appointment as prime minister by the National Assembly of what he calls "the people's candidate", the formation of a temporary government and snap parliamentary elections.

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But Pashinian has vowed to mount a nationwide strike if Parliament doesn't approve his candidacy on Tuesday.

Waving national flags and chanting Pashinyan's name, tens of thousands of people gathered in a square in the centre of Yerevan in the evening, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

The situation in Armenia is awkward for the Russian leadership. The protests were initially limited to opposing former president Serzh Sargsyan's appointment as Prime Minister, but their demands have now expanded to include a new government from outside the ruling Republican Party, and new elections to be held under a new electoral code.

He stressed that it doesn't matter who the Prime Minister will be.

"We are not putting anyone forward in the state's interest".

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