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Armenian President Steps In to Mediate Political Standoff

30 April 2018, 03:20 | Myrtle Vega

Demonstrations resume in Armenia following opposition leader's call

Armenian protest leader rallies support for premier bid

The Armenian parliament is scheduled to choose the next premier on May 1, one week after Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian stepped down amid massive street protests organized by Pashinian.

Thousands of people greeted Pashinyan's cortege and chanted his name along the road from Yerevan to Gyumri.

"It was noted that the crisis in Armenia must be resolved within the legal framework, in line with the existing constitution and on the basis of the results of the legitimate parliamentary elections held in April 2017". The opposition, consisting of Tsarukyan's Prosperous Armenia Party, the Yelk (Way Out) block, of which Pashinyan's Civil Contract Party is a part, and the ARF, hold 47 seats in total. Deutsche Welle reports two parties are backing Pashinian, but that he doesn't have enough votes to be elected yet.

"Negotiations where one party only dictates one agenda while the other can not come up with a different agenda can not be considered negotiations", Karapetyan's spokesperson Aram Araratyan told RFE/RL's Armenian service on Friday.

Armenian ruling party spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov told reporters Saturday that the party will not submit any candidate for the post of new prime minister in order to avoid the escalation of political tensions in the country.

He said the meeting took place in a rather constructive atmosphere. "We'll continue until we reach victory".

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"An extremely important rally is expected, and we should display our resolve and show that we can not be broken down", Pashinian said.

Observers have meanwhile expressed fears that the disorder in Armenia could destabilize the Moscow-allied nation.

Pashinyan met Sunday with Russian lawmakers, telling them his premiership would not threaten the South Caucasus country's close ties with Moscow.

On Thursday, Karapetyan, a former executive at Gazprom, spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It is also a flagrant rejection of the new political reality in Armenia", Richard Giragosian, director at Yereban-based Regional Studies Centre, told Reuters.

Russian Federation conceives that the situation in Armenia was prompted by domestic factors and not foreign forces, Fyodor Lukyanov, political analyst, editor-in-chief of Russian Federation in Global Politics magazine, told Sputnik Armenia.

The United States continues to monitor closely the situation in Armenia, said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement, late on Saturday.



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