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Armenian Prime Minister resigns, seeks early parliamentary elections

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has resigned reportedly in order to pave the way to early elections or, as he put it, to “complete the revolution,” which broight him to powerafter protests this spring.

Nikol said in a televised address, “the goal of my resignation is to complete the revolution, through holding early elections and returning the power to the people,” adding that he and his government would continue to fulfill their duties until the elections, despite his resignation. 

He also disclosed his intention to become the prime minister once again after the elections, if Armenians voted for his party.

Earlier, Pashinyan said that he expected the elections to be held in December. Under the Armenian constitution, the parliament has two weeks to choose a new prime minister after the government’s resignation, FranceNews24 reported.

If the legislature fails to do so, it is dissolved automatically and new parliamentary elections are held.

All Armenian parliamentary factions said they would not put forward a candidate for the post of the head of the government, thus triggering an early vote. 

The Prime Minister’s resignation is coming less than a week after his meeting with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a summit of the International Organization of Francophonie (IOF) in Erevan, attended by the leaders of some 40 countries.

The event was a memeorable one which saw spouses of Macron, Pashinyan and Trudeau dancing to traditional Armenian music as well as Pashinyan taking selfies with the foreign leaders who attended the summit.

Nikol Pashinyan @NikolPashinyan

Pashinyan came to power in Armenia in May, on the heels of a series of mass protests that rocked the country in April. The 43-year-old charismatic politician seized his chance by rallying public rage against his predecessor, Serzh Sargsyan, who previously served as Armenia’s president and prime minister. 

Mostly peaceful protests resulted in Sargsyan stepping down and Pashinyan elected prime minister in what some people, including Pashinyan himself, called a “revolution.”

However in early October, Pashinyan clashed with his opposition parliament after it adopted a law that complicates the dissolution of the legislature. At that time, he blasted the law as the start of a “counter-revolution.” He also said that he himself was going resign to speed up the disbanding of the parliament and the election of new deputies.
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