YEREVAN — The parliament in Armenia has been dissolved after it failed to choose a new prime minister for the second time, paving the way for a snap election in December.
The move comes amid a push by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to force fresh general elections next month in a bid to unseat his political opponents, who have maintained a majority in parliament despite the change of government in May.
He stepped down on October 16 to pave the way for the dissolution of the current parliament, in which he controls only a handful of seats.
Under Armenia’s constitution, the parliament must dissolve and snap elections must be called if lawmakers fail to elect a new head of government within two weeks after the prime minister’s resignation.
The pro-Pashinian Yelk Alliance, which holds only nine seats in parliament, and members of the second-largest parliamentary faction controlled by wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukian first nominated Pashinian as prime minister on October 23 and lawmakers rejected the nomination the next day.
They nominated Pashinian for the second voting on November 1.
Out of the 70 lawmakers registered for the November 1 parliamentary session, “no one voted for Pashinian, no one voted against him, while 13 abstained from voting,” parliament speaker Ara Babloian said following the vote.
As a result, Pashinian’s bid did not gather enough votes and the National Assembly has been dissolved.
Under Armenia’s constitution, new elections shall be held no earlier than within 30 days and no later than within 45 days — approximately the first half of December.
Pashinian said earlier on November 1 that the snap parliamentary elections will most likely be held on December 9.
Pashinian will continue to perform his prime ministerial duties in the interim.