YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Bowing to pressure from opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) announced on Saturday that it will not nominate Karen Karapetian or any other candidate for the vacant post of the country’s prime minister.
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.
“We will not nominate a candidate,” said the HHK spokesman, Eduard Sharmazanov. “Who will we vote for? That depends on who will be nominated and what programs they will come up with.”
So far only Pashinian has expressed his intention to run for prime minister. He has urged Armenians to continue to demonstrate in support of his candidacy.
The HHK holds 58 seats in Armenia’s 105-member parliament. The parliament’s second largest faction, a bloc led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian, has 31 deputies.
Tsarukian has yet to announce whether he will seek the post of prime minister. He was due to make a statement to that effect later on Saturday.