Armenia PM Nikol Pashinyan resigns in order to hold early vote

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has resigned in an attempt to force an early parliamentary election.

    Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday he was resigning from his post in order for parliament to be dissolved and an early election held.

    The PM announced his resignation live on national television.

    "My dear and proud people, today I tendered my resignation," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. He also pledged to "ensure the free expression of the people's will during snap elections".

    The former opposition leader swept to power in May following weeks of protests that forced the resignation of his predecessor.

    Pashinyan has pushed for an early vote to be held in recent months, in an attempt to unseat his rivals who maintain a majority in parliament.

    Early elections are held if legislators fail to appoint a new prime minister and Pashinyan persuaded his opponents not to nominate any candidates.

    Earlier this month, he led thousands of his supporters to besiege parliament to pressure his foes to accept an early vote.

    On October 10, Pashinyan told broadcaster France 24 that "early elections should be held around December 9 or 10, give or take a day. It will be in that timeframe so I will have to tender my resignation by October 16." 

    Armenia has not held parliamentary elections since Pashinyan took office in May and he has said the parliament's composition does not reflect the country's political reality.

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    SOURCE: News agencies