Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 January

Any counterrevolution or sabotage threats to be ruled out, intelligence chief says

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 16, ARMENPRESS. Director of the National Security Service of Armenia Arthur Vanetsyan has commented on media rumors claiming that after the upcoming resignation of PM Nikol Pashinyan the law enforcement agencies will be brought to an emergency mode.

Speaking to reporters after today’s Cabinet meeting, Vanetsyan said that the law enforcement agencies are always on “emergency mode”. “We are carrying out our duties within the framework of the law. We will carry out our duties duly,” he said.

Asked whether a threat of counterrevolution or sabotage exists, Vanetsyan said: “You know, threats always exist. We maintain the viewpoint that we shouldn’t loosen up. We are obliged to carry out all actions in order to rule out any kind of breach of the law in Armenia, that are especially connected with the cases you mentioned.”

He added that the law enforcement agencies are subordinate to the Prime Minister under the law, and that one of the missions of the National Security Service is to maintain Constitutional Order. He assured that the service maintains complete control of the situation and they won’t allow any force or any individual to commit violations that will lead to breach of constitutional order.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has reiterated that he will address the nation today in the evening.

“I thank all for the productive work. I would like to reaffirm that tonight I will make an important statement,” Pashinyan said during the emergency Cabinet meeting today.

“Armenia is entering a historic phase, with the results of which we must bring the non violent, velvet revolution that took place in spring in Armenia to an end. But I will make a more specific statement in this regard today evening,” Pashinyan said earlier at today’s Cabinet meeting.

Pashinyan is expected to tender his resignation today to trigger the process required to call early election of parliament.

Under the law, the incumbent parliament will be dissolved in the event of failing to elect a new prime minister twice within two weeks after a PM resigns.

Pashinyan took office after massive protests in April forced president-turned PM Serzh Sargsyan to resign. But Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK) still has most seats in parliament. Since taking office, PM Nikol Pashinyan has numerously said that the incumbent parliament doesn’t represent the people and that early elections should take place as soon as possible.

Below is an excerpt from Article 149 of the Constitution of Armenia on Election and Appointment of the Prime Minister:

“In case the Prime Minister submits a resignation or in other cases of the office of the Prime Minister becoming vacant, the factions of the National Assembly shall be entitled to nominate candidates for Prime Minister within a period of seven days after accepting the resignation of the Government. The National Assembly shall elect the Prime Minister by majority of votes of the total number of Deputies [Members of Parliament].
In case Prime Minister is not elected, a new election of Prime Minister shall be held seven days after voting, wherein the candidates for Prime Minister nominated by at least one third of the total number of Deputies shall be entitled to participate. In case Prime Minister is not elected by majority of votes of the total number of Deputies, the National Assembly shall be dissolved by virtue of law”.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

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