Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 July

Pashinyan warns against using administrative resources in upcoming elections, vows to eradicate criminal elements

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 19, ARMENPRESS. During a meeting with school principals and community leaders at the Gegharkunik Governor’s Office, caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the upcoming early election of parliament, emphasizing that the government attaches great importance to ruling out the use of administrative resources, vote buying, and attempts to involve teachers into the electoral process.

“I would like to tell you that no one can [instruct] the citizen of Armenia on whom to vote for. Citizens ought to watch the campaigns, the speeches of representatives of political forces, familiarize themselves with the programs and make a decision regarding their vote. I’d like to say that the involvement of school principals and teachers in general in the campaigning processes must be ruled out,” Pashinyan said.

He said it is highly important to be able to reject all those methods that were previously being used.

“Of course the Electoral Code clearly defines who is entitled to campaign and who’s not, but in general I think that civil servants should restrict themselves to a certain extent in order for especially educational facilities not to be politicized”, he added.

Pashinyan stressed that administrative resources, vote buying and other similar occurrences don’t have a place in Armenia no more.

He also issued a warning to the so called criminal authorities. He emphasized that this phenomenon should also be eradicated. “If someone is a criminal element, then his place is in prison, he should either be in prison or live as a law-abiding citizen,” he said.

Pashinyan assured that all political forces will have equal opportunities for campaigning.

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resigned on October 16 to trigger the process of disbanding the parliament.

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 the 105-seat parliament. Since taking office, 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.

In accordance to the Constitution, when a Prime Minister resigns the parliament must elect a new PM within two weeks. Lawmakers deliberately failed to elect a new PM as a formality in order to pave the way for dissolution.

The last round took place on November 1 and the parliament was dissolved by virtue of law.

Later on the same day, President Armen Sarkissian signed an order on dissolving the parliament and calling early elections on December 9.

The parliament will function until the new parliament is elected.

The government is formally a caretaker government until a new government is formed after the election.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


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