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Armenia PM Nikol Pashinyan resigns in order to hold early vote

Armenia PM Nikol Pashinyan resigns in order to hold early vote
Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 12:40

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Tuesday that he was resigning from his post so that parliament could be dissolved and an early election held.

The former opposition leader was put in power by a parliamentary vote in May after weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism, but no parliamentary elections have been since the revolution last spring.

Pashinyan has said the composition of parliament does not reflect the country's new political reality.

"The aim of my resignation is not to shirk the responsibility I took on myself before you, but on the contrary to take the velvet revolution to the end through early elections and fully return power to the people," he said Tuesday.

Early parliamentary elections can be called in the ex-Soviet republic of 3 million people if parliament fails twice to choose a new prime minister and the legislature is dissolved.

Public support for parties not affiliated with Pashinyan is very low – not only for the former ruling Republican Party but also for others including Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun.

The My Step Alliance, which includes Pashinyan's Civil Contract Party, won 81 percent of the mayoral vote in the capital of Yerevan last month.

Pashinyan, whose popularity rating is high, said he would remain acting prime minister until a new one is elected by a new parliament. He said earlier this month that he wanted parliamentary elections to be held in the first half of December.