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Pashinian To Continue Talks On Snap Elections


Armenia -- Amenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian addresses the nation, Yerevan, November 14, 2020.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian will continue political consultations on his proposal to hold fresh parliamentary elections despite being rebuffed by the two opposition parties represented in Armenia’s parliament.

The leaders of the opposition Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Bright Armenia (LHK) parties, Gagik Tsarukian and Edmon Marukian, insisted on Pashinian’s resignation when they separately met with him on Tuesday. They said the elections must be held by a new, interim government.

“I cannot say that yesterday’s meetings were failed ones,” Pashinian’s press secretary, Mane Gevorgian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Wednesday. “There was a discussion, the interested parties listened to each other, and discussions are continuing at this stage.”

Gevorgian said Pashinian will also meet with a nominally independent parliamentarian leading a recently formed party as well as the heads of other political groups that hold no seats in the National Assembly. She could not say whether he plans further talks with the BHK and the LHK.

Pashinian declined to talk to reporters after meeting with Tsarukian and Marukian in the parliament. Senior lawmakers from his My Step bloc could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Tsarukian’s BHK is part of a coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties that have been holding anti-government demonstrations since the Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10. In a weekend statement, the Homeland Salvation Movement again demanded that Pashinian hand over power to an interim government that would hold fresh elections within a year.

The prime minister has repeatedly rejected the opposition demands.

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