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Armenia's Pashinian Insists Snap Elections Must Be Held This Year To End 'Political Crisis'


Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (center) addresses supporters during a rally near the parliament building in Yerevan early on October 3.

YEREVAN – Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he will continue to push for early general elections to be held in December rather than next year, as proposed by his political opponents.

“Those who say the elections must be held in May, not now, want this political crisis to continue for another eight months," Pashinian told reporters on October 3.

“We disagree with that logic. Those who are guided by that logic place their parochial interests above state interests,” he added.

Snap general elections can be called in the South Caucasus country if lawmakers fail twice to choose a new prime minister and the legislature is dissolved.

Pashinian said he will press ahead with his plans to resign later this month to trigger this procedure so that parliamentary elections could be held.

Pashinian Gets Throngs Of Armenians On The Streets... Again
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He claimed he had received assurances from the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), which holds the largest number of seats in parliament, and the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) party that they won’t install another premier if he resigns.

The HHK and the BHK denied that and said they proposed that the country hold snap elections in May.

In a statement, the HHK reiterated that the country’s political forces need more time to prepare for the polls and enact amendments to combat fraud to the Electoral Code.

Meanwhile, the co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Armenia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said it was “essential” that the next parliamentary elections are “perceived and accepted as democratic and fair by all political competitors and stakeholders.”

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Yuliya Lovochkina said in a statement that all political forces should have “proper and sufficient time to prepare themselves” for the vote.

“This is especially important if the Electoral Code will indeed be changed, as some political stakeholders have called for,” she added.

A former opposition lawmaker, Pashinian took office in May after spearheading weeks of protests that forced his predecessor, Serzh Sarkisian of the HHK, to resign.

The prime minister has pushed for early elections following his bloc's landslide victory in the mayoral race in Yerevan last month in a bid to unseat his political opponents, who have maintained a majority in parliament.