Armenian opposition leader says assured Russian Federation won't intervene in crisis

Monday, 30 Apr, 2018

Tens of thousands of people are demanding that the HHK transfer power to Pashinian by electing him to the prime minister's post on May 1. Deutsche Welle reports two parties are backing Pashinian, but that he doesn't have enough votes to be elected yet.

Tsarukian has yet to announce whether he will seek the post of prime minister.

Protest leader Pashinyan said on Wednesday he had received assurances from Russian officials that Moscow would not intervene in the crisis.

"We want a guarantee that such an election would be really free, really transparent and really democratic", Pashinyan said.

He assured that after meetings and talks at the Armenian parliament, "all my supporters are to gather for a rally at 17.00 local time". Karapetyan is an ally of Sarksyan and a member of his ruling Republican Party.

However, Pashinian has said that if the HHK fields a candidate or tries to "hang onto power" he will order the crowds to blockage the parliament building and put the decision on the new prime minister to the crowds on Republic Square, which is outside the constitution. Many of those who supported Pashinian, are students.

"Negotiations where one party only dictates one agenda while the other can not come up with a different agenda can not be considered negotiations", Karapetyan's spokesperson Aram Araratyan told RFE/RL's Armenian service on Friday.

HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said Republican lawmakers plan to consider all other candidates, then vote as a bloc.

Armenia has been in the grip of a severe political crisis for the past two weeks, with the country's veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan stepping down after a decade in power in the face of major protests.

On the streets of Armenia's capital again came the protesters.

The United States on Saturday urged "good faith" in negotiations, with a State Department statement calling for "a resolution that reflects the interests of all Armenians".

She affirmed that the US supports the ongoing efforts of the Office of President Armen Sarkissian to facilitate dialogue between all parties, and to reach a resolution that reflects the interests of all Armenians.

The Prosperous Armenia Party, which holds 31 seats, threw its weight behind Pashinyan on Saturday. As a result, the parliamentary vote is turning into a showdown.

Although the demonstrations have been peaceful, the upheaval has threatened to destabilise Armenia, an ally of Russian Federation, in a volatile region riven by its decades-long, low-level conflict with neighbouring Azerbaijan.

The next parliamentary elections are not due until 2022.

But it became clear on Tuesday evening that this talk would not take place.