Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 January

Cabinet meeting didn’t discuss possibility of state of emergency, says acting finance minister

YEREVAN, APRIL 26, ARMENPRESS. Acting minister of finance Vardan Aramyan reassured that today’s Cabinet meeting did not discuss the issue of declaring state of emergency relating to the domestic situation.

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, he initially said that he doesn’t have information if there was an intention of declaring state of emergency or not. Asked if the Cabinet meeting discussed the issue, Aramyan said “no”.

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan had earlier claimed at a rally that acting PM Karen Karapetyan had intentions on declaring a state of emergency.

On April 23, at 16:00, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned as widespread protests entered the 11th day.  On the same day, as required by law, the government resigned.

First Deputy PM Karen Karapetyan was named acting PM at an emergency Cabinet meeting.

Later it was announced that Mr. Karapetyan will have a meeting with Mr. Pashinyan – leader of the opposition – on April 25. But around midnight of April 24, the government said that the meeting has been cancelled because the opposition leader unilaterally made new demands. Acting PM Karen Karapetyan addressed the President to organize a meeting in a format of his preference, with participation of a wide spectrum of political parties within and outside the parliament.

On April 25, the President announced he is starting consultations with both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political parties.

Later in the day Serzh Sargsyan, President of the ruling party – the Republican Party of Armenia – HHK – said he has requested a meeting with members of the Republican faction of the parliament. At the meeting, Sargsyan presented the reasons of his recent resignation in detail and spoke about different formats of working in the parliament – urging to prioritize domestic stability and security of the country in everything, which in case of any decision can be implemented only through unity of Republicans.

An agreement was reached to announce that the Republican faction is ready to discuss any issue with all sides without preconditions. An agreement was also reached to start discussing in the HHK executive bodies the issue of changing the party’s president.

The Speaker of Parliament announced that elections of a new Prime Minister will be held May 1.

Demonstrations continued April 26.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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