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Pashinyan announces political agenda after “Velvet Revolution” in Armenia

Nikol Pashinyan

The leader of the protest movement in Armenia, MP Nikol Pashinyan has called the rally in Yerevan to celebrate “victory of a non-violent, popular, Velvet Revolution.”

Pashinyan recalled the political claims of the protesters: “The first thing: Serzh Sargsyan steps down, which is already fulfilled. The second one is: the National Assembly elects prime minister from a people’s candidate, after that an interim government is to be formed.”

Further, he called for early parliamentary elections, adding that he is ready to continue the talks on transition of power to the people on April 25. The talks are expected to be held between Pashinyan and acting prime minister Karen Karapetyan.

“Hopefully, the elite of the (ruling) Republican Party of Armenia will unambiguously and finally recognize that the Velvet Revolution has won. The sooner it happens, the better it is for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.

He also thanked the authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic for keeping restraint and neutrality.

“Besides, I want to state once again that the page of the atmosphere of hatred is closed in Armenia; the atmosphere of vendetta in the domestic policy needs to be ruled out. We have come to a clear-cut agreement with the acting prime minister, Karen Karapetyan: all participants of the Velvet Revolution are to be freed immediately,” he added.

As EADaily reported earlier, Serzh Sargsyan decided to step down under a pressure of mass protest actions in Yerevan. The demonstrators were against election of Sargsyan to the prime minister’s post.

In accordance with the constitution, the following procedure is to be implemented: in case of prime minister’s resignation and after the government accepts it, parliamentary factions can nominate their candidates within seven days. The National Assembly elects prime minister by a majority. Ministers continue fulfilling their duties until a new cabinet is appointed.

Yerevan has been ridden by mass protest actions since April 13. The protesters were against former president Serzh Sargsyan becoming prime minister. At a rally on April 17, the leader of the protest movement Nikol Pashinyan declared start of a “Velvet Revolution” in the republic. On the same day, the Armenian parliament voted for appointing Serzh Sargsyan to the prime minister’s post: 77 MPs voted for it, 17 MPs were against.

After a constitutional reform was approved by a referendum in 2015, Armenia switched from the presidential to parliamentary republic. Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan was supposed to have all power levers concentrated in his hands. Armen Sargsyan elected as president on April 2 was to have only representative functions.

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