Armenia’s opposition secured another victory on Thursday as the country’s parliament said it would hold a special session and new leader elections after weeks of protests and the resignation of its prime minster. The elections, set for 1 May, are part of a three-step opposition plan for a transition of power that includes electing a “people’s prime minister” and then holding snap parliamentary elections. Nikol Pashinyan, the charismatic leader of the opposition who has called for the country to root out corruption and voter fraud, appeared the favourite to be elected prime minister.
Yet allies of Pashinyan’s said negotiations and vote-whipping were still ongoing within the country’s parliament, where the ruling Republican party holds a majority of seats under the current acting prime minister, Karen Karapetyan.
Pashinyan said he would accept the role of PM if it came “without restrictions” on his plans to enact elections and a programme of reform.
“Some forces are trying to engage us into political bargaining and propose me to become prime minister but ensure and guarantee the continuation of the existing system,” he told the Guardian. “And for me, my goal isn’t to become prime minister. My goal is bring real changes to Armenia.”