Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was officially nominated by the Way Out Alliance (Yelq) party’s parliamentarygroup as a candidate for the post of the Prime Minister, a member of the faction Ararat Mirzoyan told on April 30, the state-run news agency Armenia News reported.
On April 30, Pashinyan came to the Parliament to discuss with the National Assembly (NA) the May 1 parliament election. He met with the deputies from opposition Yelk faction, the talks resulted in the Pashinyan’s nomination:
“The group proposed Pashinyan’s candidacy for the post of prime minister, and today Yelq will hold meetings with the other three factions of the parliament, including the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA),” Mirzoyan stated.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun Party’s NA faction proposed all parliamentary factions to nominate Pashinyan as the single candidate for PM.
The opposition leader also talked with the Prosperous Armenia party (second in the Parliament), headed by businessman Gagik Tsarukyan.
“We have decided to support Nikol Pashinyan as a candidate for Prime Minister”, head of Tsarukyan faction Naira Zohrabyan stated.
Pashinyan commented the negotiations with the Prosperous Armenia party in a good spirit:
“We will have discussions with political forces, about the mechanisms for the [respective] time frames. (…). We have taken necessary steps to organize truly democratic and fair elections [in Armenia].”
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) decided not to field a candidate. The RPA faction head Vahram Baghdasaryan noted that if the other three political forces represented in the parliament nominate a single candidate, their faction would not get in the way of Armenia having a new PM on May 1.
The RPA, Tsarukyan, Way Out, and ARF factions have 58, 31, 9 and 7 seats, respectively, in parliament. At least 53 votes are needed to elect the new Prime Minister of Armenia.
In the interview with Belarus ONT TV channel Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said that the current situation in Armenia can be resolved only within the Constitution:
“All of us must respect the Constitution. And the Constitution clearly says – there is only one high level – the parliament – where the country’s Prime Minister must be elected. Not on the streets, not during rallies or in any other building, all disagreements must be settled in the parliament building. Whoever gets elected Prime Minister, I, as head of state, will sign the order on appointing the given person as Prime Minister, if of course no violations of constitution happen in the election process.”
Giving the interview to the Armenia News, Pashinyan stressed that, he is confident to be able to dismantle the current defective system in Armenia:
“If you mean corruption and the other negative phenomena, then yes. I’m convinced that I will be able to.
“Since there is a matter of time, we must start—from the first day—the formation of guarantees for holding free, fair elections”, Pashinyan emphasized.
According to Pashinyan’s statement, all streets in capital city Yerevan shall be closed off on May 1, when the NA will elect the new Prime Minister of Armenia.
On April 23, Prime Minister Sargsyan resigned amid anti-government protests. Armenian First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan became acting Prime Minister. Rallies continued as the opposition demanded an interim Prime Minister, who would not be from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA). The RPA strongly opposed opposition’s demands.