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Government’s Resignation Nonnegotiable For Tsarukian’s Party


Armenia -- Opposition supporters demonstrate in Yerevan to demand Prme Minister Nikol Pashinian's resignation, December 11, 2020.

The resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and his cabinet remains a necessary condition for holding fresh parliamentary elections in Armenia, Gagik Tsarukian’s opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) insisted on Friday.

A senior member of the BHK’s parliamentary group, the second largest in the National Assembly, stood by opposition claims that Pashinian’s government has lost its legitimacy as a result of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“A government solely associated with defeat, loss of lands and capitulation cannot organize and hold pre-term parliamentary elections,” said Iveta Tonoyan.

“I do realize that the authorities could take that step … and use their administrative resources to achieve [electoral] victory and retain power. But I repeat that we have only one political agenda now: the change of the government and only then the conduct of fresh parliamentary elections under a new prime minister,” she told reporters.

The BHK is part of a coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties staging street protests and demanding that Pashinian hand over power to an interim government tasked with holding the snap elections within a year.

The prime minister and his political team reject the opposition demands. Still, a senior member of the ruling My Step bloc indicated on Thursday that the country’s leadership is ready to discuss with the opposition the possibility of fresh polls.

Both the BHK and the Bright Armenia Party (LHK), the second and more moderate parliamentary opposition force, said they have received no such offers from My Step yet.

LHK leader Edmon Marukian signaled his readiness to hold election-related talks with the authorities.

“If they are talking about holding the elections after enacting a [new] Electoral Code there should certainly be discussions because the rules of the game must be clear to all players,” Marukian told a news conference.

“I don’t know who will hold the pre-term elections but I predict that they will take place after six months at the latest,” he said.

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