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    Ex-President Serzh Sargsyan

    Armenia’s Ruling Party to Mull Replacing Leader, Open For Talks With Opposition

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    YEREVAN (Sputnik) - The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) said Thursday it was open to discussing any issue with all political forces without precondition and was ready to consider replacing the party’s chairman, ex-President Serzh Sargsyan.

    The statement followed the meeting of the parliamentary faction, led by Sargsyan, with acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan.

    "We have reached an agreement to declare the RPA parliamentary faction’s readiness to discuss any issues with all sides without preconditions," the RPA said in a press release.

    The participants to the meeting also agreed that the party’s governing bodies would consider replacing the party’s chairman, according to the press release.

    At the same time, the party has endorsed the candidacy of provisional Prime Minister Samvel Karapetyan on the office of the сhairman of the Council of Ministers.

    READ MORE: Russian Diplomats Discuss Political Crisis in Armenia with Protest Leaders

    Meanwhile, opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has held a meeting with Gagik Tsarukyan, the head of the Tsarukyan Alliance, the second-largest parliamentary faction in the national legislative body.

    "I held a meeting with Gagik Tsarukyan. We discussed the current political situation in the country and possible solutions. The discussions will continue," Pashinyan wrote on Facebook.

    The ruling RPA currently holds 58 seats in the 105-seat unicameral Armenian parliament, while the opposition Way Out (Yelq) Alliance, led by Pashinyan, and the Tsarukyan Alliance have 40 seats collectively.

    A political crisis in Armenian broke out earlier in April after ex-president Serzh Sargsyan was nominated as the country's prime minister. It was largely regarded as an attempt to stay in power since the newly amended constitution transferred some of the presidential powers to the head of the government.

    READ MORE: Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party Withdraws From the Ruling Coalition

    On Monday, he resigned amid large-scale anti-government protests, with Armenian First Deputy Prime Minister Karapetyan becoming acting prime minister.

    On Wednesday, Karapetyan proposed a snap parliamentary election, following Sargsyan's resignation and failure of negotiations with the opposition on the transition of power. Pashinyan said the opposition would boycott the snap vote to prevent the RPA from staying in power.


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