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“Velvet Revolution” in Armenia: How to form new government

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan. Photo: Novosti-dny.ru

“Now, Nikol Pashinyan must take an unbiased look at the situation. The power is actually in his hands now, so he needs to behave as a leader and make decisions with a high sense of responsibility. Clear thinking is what all the sides need now. On the one hand, representatives of the ruling Republican Party will be interpreting Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation as a step of a great democrat and will be insisting on the need to avoid shocks ahead of April 24 (Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day). Pashinyan should form a clear view of all this,” political analyst Tevan Poghosyan told EADaily comenting on the current political situation in Armenia.

To recall, Prime Minister of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan resigned amid an unprecedented wave of public protests of the last ten days in Armenia. Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan will be acting prime minister under the Armenian legislation. 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. If the parliament fails to elect the prime minister at the second attempt, snap parliamentary elections shall be announced.

“The legislation does not provide for prime minister’s election by protesters outdoors. Europe will not accept that option either. In fact, it is necessary to follow the Constitution – acting prime minister (Karen Karapetyan in the given case) shall present a government strategy etc. Europe sees the decision in this particular way. If Nikol Pashinyan’s team insists on snap parliamentary elections, they will have to negotiate with other political forces to achieve such an outcome,” Tevan Poghosyan explained, adding that Pashinyan needs to form a strong political team and party structure before that.

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“It is necessary, considering that elections under current legislation and election systems will hardly result in victory of Pashinyan. Despite revolutionary euphoria, let’s not forget that the driving power of the revolution were minors having no right to vote. Pashinyan should understand this well, weigh properly all the cons and pros, his real resources. He needs a system change and only afterwards he can call for snap elections and achieve them. He needs to do a huge amount of work before that,” Tevan Poghosyan said.

Addressing the people in the Republic Square, Pashinyan said he will be holding talks with Karen Karapetyan on the mechanisms of transferring power to the people. He also suggested electing “people’s prime minister” for a transitional period and forming temporary government.

Talking to EADaily, Gevorg Danielyan, a member of the Supreme Judicial Council of Armenia, Professor at the Yerevan State University, specialist in the Constitutional Law, referred to the Constitutional procedure: “Within seven days following resignation of the prime minister, all the parliamentary factions can nominate their candidates for the prime minister. The candidate receiving more than 50% of votes will win.” However, Danielyan does not rule out that political forces may agree on snap elections to resolve domestic political crisis in the country.

“This is a political issue; it is within the competence of politicians, not lawyers. Nevertheless, I do not think that the sides will decide to dissolve the parliament immediately. They may achieve a temporary agreement, a consensus over a person who will be elected as prime minister to form the Cabinet etc. The Cabinet will introduce a new program and a decision to suspend the activity of the parliament and announce snap parliamentary elections will be adopted. I do not rule out that all parliamentarians may step down and the political crisis will be resolved,” the professor said for conclusion.

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