Will Armenian parliament vote for Pashinyan on May 8?
The Yelk faction is hastily collecting signatures of deputies to nominate Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister of Armenia, MP from Yelk faction Ararat Mirzoyan told the reporters. He didn't say how many signatures they have, but noted that the Tsarukyan, Yelk and ARF Dashnaktsutyun factions are collecting signatures separately.
Answering the question of whether the Tsarukyan Alliance will change its mind and nominate someone else, for example, Gagik Tsarukyan himself, Mirzoyan said that such fears are unfounded.
"The Tsarukyan Alliance has already expressed its position on the first vote on May 1," Mirzoyan recalled. "Mr. Tsarukyan also voted for Nikol Pashinyan," he added, expressing the hope that the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), as promised earlier, will support the candidate nominated by others.
Speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, Ararat Mirzoyan expressed confidence that sooner or later the RPA will be forced to recognize Nikol Pashinyan as the new head of Armenia. "As for the other opposition parties, I am confident that they will vote for Nikol Pashinyan like they did on May 1. The Republicans promised to vote for Nikol Pashinyan on May 8, but we know that it does not matter anymore," he said.
"Whether they vote at the next session or does not vote, little would change for us, because according to the law, the Constitution, Nikol Pashinyan will eventually become the prime minister under any scenario. I hope that the Republicans will finally understand it and will not resist the will of the people and the interests of Armenia, and will vote "for" Nikol Pashinyan on May 8," Ararat Mirzoyan said.
Another MP from Yelk Lena Nazaryan also expects solidarity among the opposition parties. "The Tsarukyan Bloc already said that they are ready to vote again for Nikol Pashinyan. The RPA will not put forward their candidate, which means they will vote for Pashinyan as well," she believes.
Member of the Tsarukyan's Bloc faction, Naira Zohrabyan, answering Vestnik Kavkaza, drew attention to the fact that, according to the rules for nominating prime minister candidates, Pashinyan already has votes of her party. "Our bloc is obliged to nominate Pashinyan, since according to our Constitution, not less than one-third of the MP nominate a prime minister. In ten minutes we collected 27 signatures of our deputies, the Yelk and Dashnaktsutyun parties also collected all their signatures, therefore, we have a total of 43 deputies who voted for Pashinyan. Thus, the Tsarukyan block is among the parties that nominated him for the post of head of government in accordance with the Constitution, and we will vote for him," she assured.
"I hope that there will be no surprises in the parliament on May 8, the ruling party will keep its word and will not impede the election of Pashinyan if more than a third of the deputies vote for him, as it was announced yesterday," Naira Zohrabyan added.
On May 2, Armenia’s parliament held a special session to elect a new prime minister. Pashinyan was the only candidate. However, only 45 parliament members voted in his favor, while he needed to receive at least 53 votes to become prime minister. The parliament will hold another session to elect a prime minister on May 8. Under Armenia’s legislation, in case parliament members fail to elect a prime minister, another round of voting should be held within seven days. If the second attempt also fails, the parliament must be dissolved.
RPA parliamentary group head Vahram Bagdasaryan said that the RPA will not nominate its candidate for this post and will support the candidate supported by one third of the parliament members (at least 35 lawmakers). The Tsarukyan parliamentary bloc has 31 seats in the parliament, the Yelk faction has 9 seats and Dashnaktsutyun has 7 seats.