Lawmakers in Armenia triggered an early parliamentary election on Thursday after failing to elect a prime minister, a move sought by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who quit as premier last month in order to force a new vote. Pashinyan, a former opposition leader who took power in May after a popular uprising, has long sought a new vote for parliament, which is still made up of members elected before demonstrators pushed the former ruling party out of power. By quitting and leaving parliament unable to find a successor, he forced parliament to dissolve and hold a new vote.
“After the non-violent, velvet popular revolution in April-May this year, power in Armenia is finally returning to people,” Pashinyan told lawmakers on Thursday.
Hours later Armenian President Armen Sarkissian set Dec. 9 as the election date.
Pashinyan is very popular, and public support for parties not affiliated with him is low – not only for the former ruling Republican party but also for other groups represented in parliament, including Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun.