12:43 GMT +321 March 2019
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    A participant in a protest rally against the election of former President Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister of Armenia in Yerevan

    Armenia's Acting Prime Minister Proposes Snap Parliamentary Election

    © Sputnik / Asatur Yesayants
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    YEREVAN (Sputnik) - Armenia's acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan on Wednesday suggested holding a snap parliamentary election, following the voluntary resignation of his predecessor and ex-president, Serzh Sargsyan, and failure of negotiations with the opposition.

    "We suggest that we should hold a snap election and, if the people support him [Pashinyan], he will run [in the election] … A candidate from the people can [only] be determined during an election," Karapetyan told reporters.

    He added that he did not know of such a country where a "candidate from the people" could be elected on the street.

    Earlier in the day, Karapetyan said that the second round of his talks with opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, scheduled for Wednesday, had been canceled over new unilateral demands for the format of the talks made by the opposition figure.

    READ MORE: US Urges All Sides in Armenia to Engage Constructively on Transition of Power

    On Monday, Sargsyan resigned amid large-scale anti-government protests against his appointment. Following Sargsyan's resignation, First Deputy Prime Minister Karapetyan became acting prime minister and entered negotiations with the protest leader, Pashinyan.

    Pashinyan earlier said that demonstrators should elect the next prime minister, giving him a mandate of a "candidate from the people." The step was supposed to be followed by the formation of a transitional government and a subsequent snap election.

    Sargsyan served two consecutive five-year terms as president until April 9. His election as prime minister on April 17 was largely regarded as an attempt to get around presidential term limits, since the 2015 constitutional amendments transferred governing powers from the president to the head of the government, and provoked mass protests.


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