YEREVAN — The Armenian parliament took the first step towards its dissolution on Monday one week after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resigned to pave the way for snap general elections aimed at ending a political crisis in the country.
Armenia’s constitution stipulates that such elections can be held only if the prime minister resigns and the parliament twice fails to elect a new head of the government within two weeks. Pashinyan and his cabinet formally stepped down for that purpose on April 25.
One lawmaker voted for the candidacy of Nikol Pashinyan, 3 voted against and the majority controlled by Pashinyan’s My Step alliance, abstained. The Prosperous Armenia opposition party did not participate in the voting.. The paliament will vote again next Monday.
The two opposition parties represented in the current National Assembly assured Pashinyan earlier that they will not nominate prime-ministerial candidates in the event of his election-related resignation.
‘My Step will not elect me as prime minister. I will be nominated for the second time and again there will be no other candidates, and I will not be elected either and according to the law, the parliament will be considered to be dissolved,” Pashinyan said before the vote.
The prime minister said that if a parliament-represented opposition party violates this accord, it will be “political suicide” for it. “If that happens My Step faction will elect me as Prime Minister and that will close the issue. I think no one will attempt political suicide,” he said.