Armenian parliament fails to elect Pashinyan as prime minister

Armenian parliament fails to elect Pashinyan as prime minister

Armenia’s parliament held a special session to elect a new prime minister yesterday. Nikol Pashinyan, nominated by the Elk parliamentary faction, was the only candidate. However, only 45 parliament members voted in his favor, while he needed to receive at least 53 votes to become prime minister.

Under Armenia’s legislation, in case parliament members fail to elect a prime minister, another round of voting should be held within seven days. If the second attempt also fails, the parliament must be dissolved.

Head of the ruling Republican Party’s parliamentary faction Vagram Bagdasaryan said that parliament members representing the party will vote against Nikol Pashinyan’s bid to become prime minister.

"Mr Pashinyan has failed to convince us," Bagdasaryan said. "We will vote against his candidacy, seeking to put an end to the negative wave that is about sweep across our country," he added.

"We understand and accept the people’s victory. We agree with criticism concerning social and economic issues. We have taken a step by refraining to nominate our candidate for prime minister," Bagdasaryan pointed out.

Earlier, the factions of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation/Dashnaktsutiun and Tsarukyan bloc issued statements pledging their support to Nikol Pashinyan. 

Eduard Sharmazanov, a member of the board of the Republican Party of Armenia and the vice speaker of the parliament, that the party’s faction will make its decision only after it hear Pashinyan’s program.  

On April 23, Serzh Sargsyan, who was appointed by the Armenian parliament as prime minister amid widespread disaffection for him, resigned under the pressure of mass protests against his premiership. 

On the same day, Armen Sarkissian, Armenian president accepted the government’s resignation.