Live Video Coverage From Armenian Parliament
Update on the latest parliamentary elections in Armenian parliament as officials hold vote on new Prime Minister.
8 May 2018: Thousands of people have flooded central Yerevan again to monitor the second parliamentary vote to elect Nikol Pashinian, the leader of massive protests demanding change in Armenia, as a new prime minister. Last week Pashinian had warned that the ruling party may try to thwart the process as they really did. ARF and Tsarukyan said will vote for Pashinyan…
Pashinyan spent Monday negotiating with all political forces, including Sarksyan’s ruling Republican Party, which still holds a majority in parliament.
He may be the only candidate for the premier post, but Pashinyan is still six votes short of the 53 he needs from the 105-seat legislature.
Speaking to AFP in an interview Monday, Pashinyan said Armenians want to determine the future of their country and a ratcheting up of tensions was just a matter of time.
“People should have genuine possibilities to influence the political situation and political decisions,” he said.
But he is well aware that without a mass resignation of ruling party members from parliament, he has very little chance of victory on May 1. Pashinyan has called for the resignations of ruling party MPs and for early parliamentary elections to be held “as soon as possible”.
According to the law, all factions have the rights to nominate their candidate, however, the only candidate at today’s vote is the head of Yelk faction Nikol Pashinyan.
ARF and Tsarukyan factions said they will vote for Pashinyan, while the Republican Party of Armenia which has majority in the parliament has not made final decision yet. Earlier head of RPA faction Vahram Baghdasaryan said if the other three factions nominate a single candidate, RPA will not block the vote, and PM will be elected on May 1.
Yelk will formally nominate the candidate and will answer the questions of the deputies. Subsequently, Pashinyan will deliver a speech which will be followed by exchange of views. Pashinyan will be finally given 30 minutes to deliver a speech.
The PM is elected by a majority vote of the total number of deputies, and by open voting.
But the serving Premier and the ministers will remain acting until the formation of a new government.
Once elected, the President will immediately appoint the candidate elected by the parliament as a Prime Minister. The government will be formed within 15 days after the PM is appointed.
With new legislative regulations, the new government will comprise the Prime Minister, First Deputy Prime Minister, two deputy prime ministers, and seventeen ministers. There will no longer be a Ministry of International Economic Integration and Reforms.
The government shall be considered to be formed if at least two-thirds of its members have been appointed.
The appointed government members shall take a respective oath at the Presidential Residence, and in the presence of the President.
Thousands of people have flooded central Yerevan to monitor a parliamentary vote to elect a new prime minister amid warnings from Nikol Pashinian, the leader of massive protests demanding change in Armenia, that the ruling party may try to thwart the process.
Pashinian, 42, is the only candidate in the May 1 election and has already secured the support of all opposition factions in parliament where the Republican Party (HHK) holds 58 seats in the 105-member parliament.
Speaking to lawmakers ahead of the vote, he accused the ruling party of former Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian, who stepped down last week amid massive street protests against his election last month, of trying to impede his election and warned any attempt to do so would unleash further unrest.
“The Republican Party’s attempts at thwarting this ballot will start a political tsunami. Everything depends on the decision you make. People, they are trying to steal your victory. Take to the street,” Pashinian told lawmakers at the start of a special session of parliament called to elect a new prime minister.
Heeding Pashinian’s call, thousands of Armenians returned to Republic Square to watch the drama play out on huge monitors erected around a stage where just days earlier they celebrated the peaceful toppling of Sarkisian.