Live 3,5 hour TV debate for general election concludes with handshakes
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS. The live televised debate involving all candidates for parliament lasted nearly 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Leaders of all political parties and blocs running for parliament were participating in the debate broadcast on the Public TV channel.
Vigen Sargsyan (HHK – Republican Party of Armenia), Suren Sahakyan (Citizens Decision Social-Democratic Party), Armen Rustamyan (ARF – Dashnaktsutyun), Nikol Pashinyan (My Step bloc), Edmon Marukyan (Lusavor Hayastan party), Levon Shirinyan (Christian-Peoples Rebirth party), Lusine Haroyan (National Progress party), Aram Sargsyan (We bloc), Artur Baghdasaryan (Orinats Yerkir party), Varuzhan Avetisyan (Sasna Tsrer party) and Gagik Tsarukyan (Prosperous Armenia party) debated a number of issued during the program.
The politicians spoke about their campaigning messages, programs, the settlement of the Artsakh issue, economy, anti-corruption combat, and many other issues.
In conclusion, the politicians addressed their voters with remarks and then shook hands.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tendered a tactical resignation on October 16 in a maneuver to trigger the process of dissolving the parliament.
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.
Pashinyan took office after massive protests in April forced president-turned PM Serzh Sargsyan to resign. But Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK) still held 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.
The parliament was dissolved by virtue of law on November 1. On the same day, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian signed an order on calling early general election on December 9.
The incumbent parliament functions until the new parliament is elected.
The government is formally a caretaker government until a new Cabinet is formed after the election.
The campaigning period kicked off November 26 with 11 political parties and blocs running for parliament.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan