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Saturday 21 September 2019

Armenian parliament set to vote on new premier

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinian has been nominated for prime minister.

Nikol Pashinian speaks during a parliament session (Sergei Grits/AP)
Nikol Pashinian speaks during a parliament session (Sergei Grits/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The man who could be Armenia’s next prime minister has warned that the country will be plunged into a deep political crisis if the ruling party fails to support his candidacy.

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, who has been nominated for prime minister, told politicians that Armenia will be swept in a “political tsunami” if the ruling Republic party fails to support him.

The Armenian parliament is expected to vote on a new prime minister later on Tuesday.

Supporters gather for a rally at the Republic square in Yerevan (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Mr Pashinian is the only candidate, but the chamber is controlled by the ruling party, and Mr Pashinian needs their votes to win.

Mr Pashinian led more than two weeks of anti-government protests that forced Serzh Sargsyan, who led Armenia as president for 10 years and was elected prime minister in mid-April, to resign.

The opposition in the Caucasus Mountains country saw Mr Sargsyan’s move into the prime minister’s chair as an attempt to stay in power indefinitely.

Tens of thousands of people have packed the square outside to show their support for Mr Pashinian.

The Elk or “Exit” opposition alliance formally announced Mr Pashinian’s nomination at the start of the session, and the opposition leader himself later took the floor to answer the deputies’ question before the vote was to be held.

PA Media

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