Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 January

“Committed to exclusively peaceful settlement based on self-determination right of peoples” – Pashinyan says in remarks ahead of vote

YEREVAN, MAY 8, ARMENPRESS. Candidate for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says he is certain that the negotiations for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict cannot be complete and effective without the participation of one party – the leadership of Artsakh.

Pashinyan, delivering opening remarks during the ongoing parliamentary sitting for the election of Prime Minister, added that the participation of Artsakh in the negotiations is panned under the 1992 Minsk Group mandate.

Speaking about the need for a peaceful settlement based on international law, Pashinyan stressed that the international recognition of Artsakh’s self-determination right is vital.

“In terms of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict we are committed to an exclusively peaceful settlement, which must be based on the principle of legal equality of peoples and self determination. I am ready to negotiate with Azerbaijan’s leader within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship – having the abovementioned principled stance as a basis,” Pashinyan.

Pashinyan says a new momentum must be conveyed to the international recognition process of Artsakh, which must be a priority agenda issue of Diaspora Armenians.

The extraordinary sitting of the Armenian parliament kicked off with 100 MPs in attendance. Lawmakers are set to vote for electing a Prime Minister with opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan being the sole candidate.

Two other factions in addition to Pashinyan’s Yelk have endorsed the opposition leader’s candidacy – the ARF and the Tsarukyan.

Pashinyan will need at least 53 votes in the 105-seat unicameral parliament to be named Prime Minister. As this is the second round of vote, if lawmakers fail to elect a PM today also, then the parliament will be dissolved and early elections will take place.

As required by the Constitution, a new government must be formed within 15 days after electing a Prime Minister.

An elected Prime Minister must nominate deputy Prime Ministers and ministers of his Cabinet to the President within five days after taking office. After the formation of the government, the Prime Minister must present his Cabinet’s action plan for parliamentary debates within 20 days. Lawmakers have seven days for debating the action plan.

In the event of the parliament’s rejection of the action plan, the elected PM resigns and new elections of PM take place. If a new Prime Minister is elected in the second elections and again the action plan isn’t approved, the parliament is dissolved and snap elections take place.

Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, the third President of Armenia who took office as PM April 17, resigned amid mass protests on April 23.

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, head of the Yelk (Exit) faction, was the sole candidate in the first round of elections on May 1. Pashinyan, the MP who spearheaded massive demonstrations throughout the country for about two weeks, failed to be elected by a 56-45 vote.

There are 4 factions in the Armenian parliament. The Republican Party (HHK) faction, the ruling party of Armenia, has 58 seats in the 105-seat unicameral parliament of Armenia – known as the National Assembly.  The ARF faction – (Armenian Revolutionary Federation aka Dashnaktsutyun), has 7 seats. The Tsarukyan faction has 31 seats, and the Yelk faction has 9 seats. 

The ruling party said it will not nominate their own candidate for the second round, just like in the first round. However, the HHK said it will not block the election and will support it.

ENGLISH: Editor/Translator - Stepan Kocharyan

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