Armenia opposition leader in crunch talks ahead of PM vote

Member of the National Assembly Yelk bloc Nikol Pashinyan, who has been nominated as candidate for Prime Minister's post, says negotiations on the Karaabkh conflict settlement should continue within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. "Guided by these challenges and priorities, the RPA decided that the RPA faction of the National Assembly will not nominate a candidate for Prime Minister", party spokesperson Eduard Sharmazanov said on Saturday.

Note that the extension was agreed at today's meeting of the faction members with Pashinyan.

Opposition leader and founder and head of Civil Contract party Nikol Pashinyan leads a campaign against the ruling authorities, which has seen thousands of Armenians take to the streets in massive protests.

He pledged to do no "personnel purges" if he was elected prime minister.

"People should have genuine possibilities to influence the political situation and political decisions", Pashinyan said on Monday.

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"So I am proud that people have their opinion and they can express that".

Whether or not he gets the job, left open by the resignation of long-time leader Serzh Sarksyan after two weeks of anti-government protests, depends on a parliamentary vote to be held on Tuesday.

He is so far the only person to put himself forward and, as of Sunday, had received the support of all opposition parties in parliament that hold 47 seats of the 105-seat legislature where the Republicans have a majority.

"We will return from the parliament to celebrate our victory together", Pashinyan said at a rally on Monday.

Observers said Sarkisian's resignation sounded the death knell for the seemingly unshakable rule of the Republican Party which dominated the ex-Soviet republic's politics for over a decade, unchallenged by weak and divided opposition forces.


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