Armenia opposition stages show of force ahead of vote

Yesterday it was reported that ruling Armenia's Republican Party decided not to nominate a candidate for PM post. There have been protests all week since Sargsyan became prime minister after term limits forced him to step down as president, ending a 10-year stint. Members of the Armenian opposition Yelk parliamentary faction, led by its chairman Nikol Pashinyan, had a meeting today with a delegation of Russian State Duma (lower parliament chamber), Yelk press secretary Tigran Avinyan said.

Armenia's parliament plans to choose a replacement on Tuesday for Serzh Sargsyan, who resigned last week after demonstrations over his selection.

Later it was announced that Mr. Karapetyan will have a meeting with Mr. Pashinyan - leader of the opposition - on April 25. "If (Sarkisian's) Republicans refuse to leave power, we will force them to do so peacefully", said one of those waiting, Arman Ovsepeyan, a 43-year-old musician. "That is why meetings are now held with opposition leaders and government representatives", Lukyanov said.

A political crisis in Armenia broke out earlier in April after ex-President Serzh Sargsyan was nominated as prime minister.

On Thursday, Pashinyan presented himself as the only legitimate candidate for prime minister, saying "there can be no compromise with the corrupt and anti-national system".

The Republican Party, which withdrew from the race for the Prime Minister's post, has said it will not create obstacles for the PM's election.

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"It was noted that the crisis in Armenia must be resolved within the legal framework, in line with the existing constitution and on the basis of the results of the legitimate parliamentary elections held in April 2017".

Armenia's parliament will vote for a new premier on May 1. "We are not going to make any sharp geopolitical moves", Pashinyan added, reports Tass.

Earlier this week, Pashinyan ruled out challenging the presence of Russian military bases in Armenia or membership of Russia-led military and economic alliances.

Russian Federation conceives that the situation in Armenia was prompted by domestic factors and not foreign forces, Fyodor Lukyanov, political analyst, editor-in-chief of Russian Federation in Global Politics magazine, told Sputnik Armenia.

Karapetyan later accused the opposition of "monopolising the political process" and said only genuine dialogue and an acknowledgement of mistakes could defuse the crisis.

  • Megan Austin