Armenian opposition leader's bid for PM faces parliament vote

Glen Norman
May 2, 2018

Supporters of Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan wait for the results of the parliament's election of an interim prime minister.

Noting that many corruption scandals in the world are offshore deals and money overseas, he proposed to establish a special state agency, for example, the ethics committee, for controlling accounts of Armenian officials at any spot all over the world.

After a nine-hour session, the chamber voted 45-55 against appointing Nikol Pashinyan, who was the only candidate nominated to replace the ex-president who resigned as prime minister due to the protests. He is the only candidate for this position.

Armenia's ruling Republican Party had earlier said it would not put up a candidate, in a bid to ease tensions.

Pashinyan promised that his first action in the case of appointment as Prime Minister will be the steps to prepare for early parliamentary elections.

Baghdasarian's announcement and the vote was assailed by angry shouts and waving fists from thousands of people who stood in central Yerevan's Republic Square throughout the day watching the parliamentary proceedings on a large screen television.

Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan gestures to his supporters at a rally in Yerevan, Armenia April 30, 2018.

Pashinyan failed Tuesday to persuade individual lawmakers to cross party lines so he could amass the 53-vote majority he needed in the 105-seat legislature.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters joined a protest rally in Yerevan on Sunday evening, hoping that a massive show of strength would thrust their leader to power.

Parliament made Sargsyan prime minister a week later under a new government structure that gave the premier more power than the president. The Republican Party has not nominated its candidate.

"People should have genuine possibilities to influence the political situation and political decisions", he said.

In response to a question from a lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Arman Saghatelyan on the Karabakh settlement process, Pashinyan said negotiations on Karabakh are held only for the sake of negotiations and are of a formal nature.

They also accuse Sarkisian and his dominant Republican Party of widespread corruption and failing to raise living standards.

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