Armenian Parliament Set to Vote for Prime Minister; Pashinyan says Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan are Pressuring MPs

12:51, 1 May, 2018

Armenia’s National Assembly began its special session to elect the country’s next prime minister.

Three of the four parliamentary factions (Yelk Alliance, Tsarukyan Alliance, ARF) will vote for Yelk’s Nikol Pashinyan, the only candidate nominated for the post.

The Republican Party of Armenia, with a parliamentary majority, says it hasn’t decided how its 58 MPS will vote.

102 of the National Assembly 105 deputies have registered as present.

 National Assembly President Ara Babloyan said it was a unique occurrence for the majority not to have nominated its own candidate for the post.

Yelk Alliance MP Ararat Mirzoyan presented Pashinyan’s nomination to the parliament, stressing that during the past few days the public had stood up in the name of dignity.

“Today, I have the honor of presenting the candidacy of Nikol Pashinyan, candidate of the people’s movement and nominated by the Yelk Alliance faction. Support has been declared by the Tsarukyan and ARF factions. The Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has said it will not oppose the vote,” Mirzoyan said.

In his address to the parliament, Pashinyan noted that his march from Gyumri one month ago had dramatically changed the political situation in Armenia, and that his Civil Contract party was able to transform that change into a struggle of hundreds of thousands of citizens.

“The people’s demand wasn’t merely to replace one person with another, but to uproot the crude system. To date, the ruling party has been playing a game of cat and mouse, not declaring how it will vote. Understanding the delicacy of the situation and from a perspective of national harmony, we will create all possibilities for Serzh Sargsyan and the upper echelon of the RPA to depart gracefully,” Pashinyan said.

Pashinyan claimed that former president Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan were pressuring MPs not to vote for him.

The candidate warned that his patience shouldn’t be misunderstood as weakness.

 “Your attempts could have unforeseen consequences. They could cause a political tsunami” Pashinyan said.