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Armenian Opposition Leader Calls For More Protests Ahead Of Election

Armenian Opposition Leader Calls For More Protests Ahead Of Election

Protesters began a march in the Armenian capital, Yerevan Sunday after protest leader Nikol Pashinyan urged supporters to resume demonstrations and block roads following more than two weeks of street protests. There have been protests all week since Sargsyan became prime minister after term limits forced him to step down as president, ending a 10-year stint.

The HHK holds 58 seats in Armenia's 105-member parliament.

An opposition leader from Yelk bloc and the founder and head of Civil Contract party, Nikol Pashinyan leads a campaign throughout Armenia against the ruling authorities.

"In accordance to paragraph 3, article 140 of the constitutional law on the parliament's rules of procedure, I announce that the issue of election of a Prime Minister will be debated on May 1 at 12:00, in an extraordinary session of parliament convened by virtue of law", Speaker Ara Babloyan said. The ruling Republican Party holds a majority in parliament. "The country is going towards complete destruction if we keep going this way".

Pashinyan said Friday that he hoped Prosperous Armenia and a smaller opposition party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, "will make up their minds and clarify their position".

Pashinyan called on supporters to organise big demonstrations in Yerevan, the capital, on May 1.

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Meanwhile, the former ruling coalition party that has seven seats in parliament, Dashnaktsutyun, announced that it was formally supporting Pashinian's candidacy in the May 1 parliamentary vote.

He also said he was ready to meet with all the ruling party's lawmakers "simultaneously". Tsarukyan has said he will vote for Pashinian who will now stand unopposed.

Observers have meanwhile expressed fears that the disorder in Armenia could destabilize the Moscow-allied nation. They are chanting "Victory", "Karapetyan resigned" and "Nicola in the premiere".

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan have taken similar action to acheive what much of the world views as dictatorships. "It is also a flagrant rejection of the new political reality in Armenia", Richard Giragosian, director at Yereban-based Regional Studies Centre, told Reuters.

The U.S. State Department weighed in on Armenia's political standoff late on April 28, saying it continues to "closely" monitor the situation.


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