YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Friday expressed readiness to hold fresh parliamentary elections next year and offered to negotiate with Armenia’s leading political groups for that purpose.

Citing poor attendance of the continuing anti-government rallies, Pashinyan said on Friday that the opposition campaign has not won popular support and is fizzling out.

“Now it is already obvious that the opposition process demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister did not win the support of the people. Thy had huge financial, media and organizational resources, ample opportunities for organizing rallies and protests, but they could not secure popular support for their demands, and number of their supporters was reduced to a minimum,”Pashinyan wrote on Facebook.

“I am not clinging to the post of prime minister, but I also cannot adopt a careless attitude towards power and the post of prime minister entrusted to me by the people,” Pashinyan said.

“The fate of that post and the country’s further political leadership must be decided by the people through a free expression of their will and I as the Prime Minister of Armenia, consider myself a guarantor of this free expression of their will.”

“I can give up the post of prime minister only if the people decide so,” he said. “Should the people reaffirm their trust I am also ready to continue leading the Republic of Armenia in these difficult times. There is only one way to answer these questions: the conduct of pre-term parliamentary elections.”

“Based on that, I am inviting parliamentary and interested extra-parliamentary forces to consultations on holding pre-term parliamentary elections in 2021,” concluded Pashinyan.

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