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Pashinian Plans No Election Alliances With Other Parties


Armenia - Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian talks to a trader while visiting a Syrian-Armenian arts and crafts fair in Yerevan, 17 October 2018.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian made clear on Wednesday that his Civil Contract party will not form an alliance with any other political group ahead of Armenia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Pashinian said it could only team up with individuals supporting his and his government’s political agenda.

Civil Contract already fielded such non-partisan candidates, most of them young civic activists, in the September 23 municipal elections in Yerevan. Their My Step bloc won over 80 percent of the vote. Pashinian’s team should also do very well in the general elections expected in December.

“We will participate [in the December elections] on our own … or in the My Step format,” Pashinian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

He specifically ruled out an electoral alliance with the Republic and Bright Armenia parties making up, together with Civil Contract, the Yelk bloc.

Yelk was set up in the run-up to Armenia’s last parliamentary elections held in April 2017. It won 9 of the 105 seats in the current National Assembly.

Republic and Bright Armenia refused to back Pashinian when he launched in April this year street protests that eventually toppled the country’s longtime leader, Serzh Sarkisian. They voiced support for the Pashinian-led campaign only after it rapidly gained momentum.

Lena Nazarian, a senior Civil Contract member, echoed Pashinian’s statements. “We will not form alliances with other parties,” Nazarian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

“We want to again form an alliance with individual citizens,” she said, adding that they must be “professionals having experience, knowledge and skills” needed in the parliament.

Pashinian tendered his and his cabinet’s resignation late on Tuesday in an effort to ensure that the snap polls are held in the first half of December. Sarkisian’s Republican Party and other parliamentary forces have pledged not to try to scuttle his plans.

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