After spending two and a half hours discussing the scenario of future snap parliamentary election, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan left the National Assembly and declared to a crowd of thousands outside that officials from the Republican Party of Armenia, Prosperous Armenia Party and the ARF had promised not to nominate candidates for the post of prime minister during the first and second voting stages after he resigns from the post.
Thousands of demonstrators earlier this evening gathered outside the National Assembly, at the urging of Pashinyan, to protest today’s parliamentary approval of a controversial bill seen by Pashinyan as an attempt by the Republican Party of Armenia to regain power.
Pashinyan has called for elections this December, while the Republican Party of Armenia, Prosperous Armenia and ARF factions want the elections postponed until May-June of next year.
The bill would ban the dissolution of the parliament by other than legal means.
Pashinyan told the demonstrators that MPs from the three above parties had asked him to explain the need for snap parliamentary elections, to which he responded that the sitting parliament, in which the RPA enjoys a relative majority, does not reflect the will of the people and that snap elections are needed to resolve the ongoing political crisis in the country.
If elections were to be held next May, as the three parties want, Pashinyan argued that it would only prolong the current crisis by another seven months.
“Our position is that elections must be held this December because they logically can’t be held any sooner. The specific deadline depends on the day that I resign. Holding snap parliamentary elections is the demand of the people and nation,” Pashinyan said.
Pashinyan described the bill to alter the parliament’s rules of procedure as an artificial hindrance to the dissolution of the current parliament and the holding of snap elections.
The approved bill would allow for the stoppage of parliamentary sessions in force majeure circumstances or when MPs are prevented from voting, only to be continued when such hindrances are no longer present.