Karen Karapetian on Wednesday rejected opposition leader Nikol Pashinian’s demands for him to be replaced by another acting prime minister chosen by protesters continuing to demonstrate in Yerevan and other parts of Armenia.
Pashinian has repeatedly said that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) must appoint a “people’s candidate” nominated by his movement as interim prime minister who will preside over the holding of fresh parliamentary elections.He has made no secret of his desire to run the country at least until those elections.
“What is the so-called ‘people’s prime minister?’ Can you explain?” Karapetian told a news conference.
He said he does not know of any country whose leader is elected on the street. “There are disaffected citizens but how do we measure that?” he said. “What is the yardstick? There are citizens who want Nikol Pashinian but there are others who want another candidate. Do you know of any country where the prime minister is chosen just like that?”
“That is why I am saying: let us hold pre-term elections and if the people elect him, he will go [to the government,]” said Karapetian. He insisted that Armenia’s next premier must be chosen at the ballot box, not on the street.
Karapetian said he therefore believes that Armenia’s leading political forces must negotiate and work out new “rules of the game.” “Let us not impose our will on each other,” he said. “It is extremely important to return to a normal life. Nothing good will come out of this.”