Armenia Inches Closer To Snap Elections

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses parliament on Oct. 24, 2018 (Photo by Photolure)
Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses parliament on Oct. 24, 2018 (Photo by Photolure)

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses parliament on Oct. 24, 2018 (Photo by Photolure)

YEREVAN (—Nikol Pashinyan’s efforts to force fresh general elections in December cleared another legal hurdle on Wednesday when Armenia’s parliament agreed not to reappoint him as prime minister one week after his tactical resignation.

Pashinyan stepped down on October 16 to pave the way for the dissolution of the current National Assembly in which he controls only a handful of seats. Under the Armenian constitution, snap elections can be called only if the assembly fails to elect a prime minister within the next two weeks.

Some legal experts believe that the constitution also requires lawmakers to vote on at least one candidate for prime minister during the two-week period. In what was a mere formality designed to prevent any questioning of the legality of the parliament’s dissolution, Pashinyan’s Yelk alliance on Tuesday nominated him for the post of prime minister on the assumption that the parliament will reject his candidacy.

“This is done so that we fully adhere to procedures set by Armenia’s constitution in order to avoid differing interpretations of legal definitions and meaningless legal debates,” Yelk’s Lena Nazaryan told the parliament.

“I was nominated not for getting elected prime minister but for not getting elected prime minister,” Pashinyan said, for his part. “Therefore, the National Assembly must not vote for me.”

Pashinyan, who is continuing to perform his prime-ministerial duties in the interim, made the same appeal just before the parliament vote. “I want to thank those who will not for me or will not vote at all,” he said after answering questions from several deputies.

Only 12 deputies took part in the vote and none of them backed Pashinyan against his wishes. Eleven of them abstained.

The 105-member parliament’s largest factions representing the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia and Gagik Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia Party announced beforehand that they will boycott the vote. The seven deputies representing the Armenian Revolutionary Federation also did not vote.

The parliament will again vote on the prime minister next week. Another failure to elect a premier would mean its automatic dissolution.

The Republican Party of Armeia as well as the Prosperous Armenia Party and the ARF have only reluctantly agreed to the holding of the elections in December. Early this month they tried unsuccessfully to delay the vote until next May or June.

Pashinyan and his allies are tipped to win the upcoming polls by a landslide. The popular premier said on Wednesday that they will complete the victory of last spring’s “velvet revolution” that brought him to power.


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  1. zarkim said:

    Mr Armen Syarkissin and Nikol Pashinyan must notify people of their OVERALL PLAN. What is their AGANDA???

    Mr Armen Syarkissin was responsible for Nikol Pashinyan’s success and that was a great service to Armenia.

    Since Pashinyan’s arrival as Prime Minister there have been no declarations of what their SCHEDULE is?

    This is very cleverly done. No promises at all accept entertaining Germany, France and ignoring Armenia’s core FRIENDS.

    Armenia must make new friends but must not forget the old ones.

    “”Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold …””

    Germany, France and USA always promise great things but history shows that most of their promises do not come true…. “”All that glitters is not gold””

    Armenia’s best friends are Eurasian Economic Union members and Iran.

    If it was not for Iran and Russia, more Christians would have been SLAUGHTERED in Syria. Germany and France, England and USA were doing nothing at all to protect Armenians in Syria.

    Armenia must make new friends but must also respect the old ones. USA promising weapons to Armenia is nothing but trouble for Armenia. If things go wrong, USA will not help.

    Armenian people must WATCH Mr Armen Syarkissin and Nikol Pashinyan and must not allow them to make wrong decisions and hurt Armenia.

    Before Armenians re-elect Pashinyan again, they must know what are Pashinyan’s PLANS for Armenia?

    Armenians must recognize early signs of trouble and must pour into streets and let Mr Armen Syarkissin and Nikol Pashinyan know about their disagreements…. Shaking hands with Prince Charles is not enough….