Pashinyan calls to cease "acts of civil disobedience"

Protesters in Yerevan's central square  New York Times

Protesters in Yerevan's central square New York Times

The Armenian parliament on Thursday called for an extraordinary session next week to vote on a new prime minister after the country was plunged into a political crisis with the abrupt resignation of its leader.

Armenia, a close ally of Russian Federation, has been rocked by two weeks of anti-government protests which led on Monday to the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan as prime minister. Sargsyan was supposedly nominated again for the position Prime Minister despite having previously served two terms, something that protesters would not tolerate and proceeded to demonstrate.

Armenia's ruling party said on Saturday it would not put forward any candidate for prime minister to avoid stoking tensions after more than two weeks of street protests against the South Caucasus nation's ruling elite. Sargsyan resigned from the office this week, while the ruling Republican party chose not to run its candidate.

Arut Khachatryan, a 17-year-old high school student, said: "We are witnessing a decisive moment". But around midnight of April 24, the government said that the meeting has been cancelled because the opposition leader unilaterally made new demands.

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According to the Constitution, parliamentary factions are entitled to nominate candidates for PM within 7 days after the resignation of the PM, after which the election is held through an open voting in the parliament.

From mid-April in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia, held a rally and protest against the appointment of Serzh Sargsyan to the post of Prime Minister.

HHK holds 58 seats in the 105-seat parliament, and without its support Pashinian is unlikely to be elected.

The Republican Party, which withdrew from the race for the Prime Minister's post, has said it will not create obstacles for the PM's election.

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Armenia's parliament will vote for a new premier on May 1. Dashnaktsutyun has also said it will vote for Pashinian. The sides discussed the political situation in Armenia and its impact on the Armenian-Russian relations.

"I've just rounded up a meeting with my allies and we took a strategic decision regarding a second round of the velvet revolution", Pashinian said. "We are not going to make any sharp geopolitical moves", Pashinyan added, reports Tass.

The situation in Armenia is awkward for the Russian leadership.

Pashinian met with several members of Russia's Duma on April 29 and reassured them that Armenia will remain a close ally and partner.

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