YEREVAN—The Republican Party of Armenia on Wednesday signaled its support for Nikol Pashinyan a day after the party rejected his candidacy during a parliamentary vote to elect a new prime minister.
The apparent—and dramatic—about face was announced on Wednesday night when the Republican Party of Armenia’s parliamentary faction said that it will not nominate a candidate for the post and will “help” a candidate that enjoys the support of at least one-third of lawmakers, become prime minister.
The announcement, made by the party’s parliamentary faction chairman Vahram Baghdasaryan, followed a meeting between Republican lawmakers and former prime minister Serzh Sarkisian, who resigned last week as public pressure mounted through the Pashinyan-led protests that started on April 13.
On Tuesday, when parliament convened to elect Pashinyan, who was the sole candidate for prime minister, the Republican Party of Armenia rejected his candidacy and all but one of its lawmakers voted against Pashinyan, thus hindering the election of a prime minister.
Earlier on Wednesday, businessman Gagik Tsarukyan said his faction, with 31 votes, will support Pashinyan as it did Tuesday. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Yelk alliance, which hold seven and nine votes respectively have also pledged to support Pashinyan, whose election seems a to be guaranteed given the Republican Party of Armenia’s decision.