First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Tuesday refused to speculate about possible dates for fresh parliamentary elections sought by Armenia’s new government.
“I won’t give any dates now,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “We have said that we are going to prepare the country for pre-term elections. Pre-term elections are one of our priorities.”
“But we have to prepare for that,” Mirzoyan said, citing the need to enact the kind of amendments to the Armenian Electoral Code that would facilitate the proper conduct of the vote.
“We are working day and night to put those conditions in place as soon as possible because we realize that having a new political picture in the parliament through elections must be the final episode of the systemic change,” he said, referring to the Pashinian-led popular uprising that has led to regime change in the country.
Pashinian and his political allies control a minority of seats in the current National Assembly. The parliament majority remains loyal to former President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The latter is therefore in a position to block the holding of snap elections.
Pashinian said last week that he thinks the polls will be held this year. Mirzoyan was more cautious on that score.
“We are now consulting with many experts in order to understand when we may be … sufficiently prepared for [the elections,]” said the vice-premier. “Different views [on election time frames] are being voiced: from six month to one year. But we obviously have deadlines and those elections must not be held in two years’ time.”