Armenia: calls for new rally after talks on replacing prime minister halted

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It was announced that Nikol Pashinyan would meet acting prime minister Karen Karapetyan on April 25 to discuss other items of the agenda proposed by Pashinyan, including the election of the prime minister by "people's choice" and snap parliamentary elections.

It was not immediately clear whether that signalled specific support for Pashinyan's candidacy or not.

People celebrate Armenian prime minister Serzh Sarkisian's resignation in downtown Yerevan, April 23, 2018.

The opposition will continue to rally until "a full transfer of power" happens and a "people's candidate" is elected prime minister, Pashinian said.

The head of Armenia's opposition movement said Tuesday he is prepared to lead the country after Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian resigned following almost two weeks of protests against his rule.

A surprising turn of events this week has focused attention on the former Soviet state of Armenia: There, longtime leader Serzh Sargsyan abruptly resigned on Monday amid protests accusing him of a blatant power grab. "A faction that got 7-8 percent of the vote [in the April 2017 parliamentary elections] can not speak on behalf of the people", he said, referring to the opposition Yelk bloc, of which Pashinyan is a leader.

But following a referendum in 2015, Armenia transitioned from an executive presidency with Sargsyan at the helm to a parliamentary system led by the prime minister and his Cabinet.

"People go to him because they are confident he's not going to make secret deals with those in power, he won't betray the movement", Pogosyan told AFP.

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Also, they were attacking the Election Commission (EC), the Supreme Court , and the army for petty political gains. Gandhi dared Modi to allow him to speak on the Rafale deal for just 15 minutes inside the parliament.

Russia's marginalized opposition on Monday praised the Armenian protesters and repeated its call for a demonstration against Russian President Vladimir Putin in two weeks, ahead of his inauguration for a new six-year term.

He was first elected president in a hotly disputed 2008 ballot marred by opposition allegations of fraud and a deadly post-election government crackdown on protesters in Yerevan.

Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, an ally of the ousted Sarksyan, called on the president to organize another meeting, where all political forces could participate.

"The street movement is against my tenure". His reelection in 2013 was also denounced as fraudulent by Armenia's leading opposition groups. "I am fulfilling your demand", Sargsyan wrote to his country's citizens in a statement of resignation on his official website.

Pashinyan said they will discuss, among other things, the holding of fresh parliamentary elections in the "shortest possible logical period of time".

Armenia's political parties in the legislature must nominate a new prime minister within seven days.

A spokesman for Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said he hoped that new Armenian authorities would adopt a "constructive" approach over the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh.

Pashinyan and others are anxious Sargsyan may still be an influential figure behind the scenes in the ruling Republican party of Armenia. It will elevate the reputation of Armenia and the Armenian people in the world, if we will be able to find correct and measured solutions.

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