YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and lawmakers representing his My Step alliance spoke out against holding fresh parliamentary elections to resolve the political crisis in Armenia when they met late on Sunday.

In a short statement, My Step said the participants of the meeting saw no popular demand for the conduct of such elections proposed by Pashinyan on December 25. They also noted the proposal’s rejection by the two opposition parties represented in the Armenian parliament, said the statement.

Pashinyan offered to hold snap elections following opposition protests sparked by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire on November 10.

The ruling bloc lawmakers stated that, most Armenians do not want regime change or pre-term elections.

“A vast part of the population is demanding that we do not opt for elections and keep doing our job instead,” one of them Hayk Konjoryan told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

“If the vast majority of our people wanted us to hold pre-term elections … then citizens would organize themselves without the 17 [opposition] forces or present their demand to us together with other political forces,” said Konjoryan. He said they would specifically take to the streets.

Minister for Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Suren Papikian said. “We have received no such feedback from the public, On the contrary, we have only received [messages of] ‘do not resign.’”

“I don’t exclude that we have had shortcomings,” he went on. “It wouldn’t be normal if there were no people disappointed with us. “It’s a natural process. Some will start to believe, others may have some expectations which we do not manage to live up to.”

Last week former president Robert Kocharyan expressed his readiness to participate in the elections claiming he can win comfortably. Kocharyan is standing for trial in connection with March 1, 2008 disputed election violence that killed 10 opposition protesters.

Papikyan specifically denied any connection between the authorities’ decision not to hold snap parliamentary elections and Kocharyan’s intention to participate in it.

“We are not afraid of any competition, and it is not clear to me with which or through which political force Robert Kocharyan would participate in elections,” he said, answering questions from Facebook users at the RFE/RL studio in Yerevan.

 

 

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