Empty chairs tactics: 'Pashinyan's plan' completes first stage

Empty chairs tactics: 'Pashinyan's plan' completes first stage

Armenia’s National Assembly did not elect prime minister today, paving way for its dissolution. The only nominated candidate was the acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, nominated by Yelk alliance.

Lawmakers from the Republican Party of Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation/Dashnaktsutyun and the Prosperous Armenia did not take part in the voting. One lawmaker voted against, 11 abstained and no lawmaker voted for, ARKA reported.

Speaking in parliament before the voting , Pashinyan urged lawmakers not to vote for his candidacy, saying his nomination was formal to observe the requirements of the law.

Pashinyan resigned October 16 to clear way for the dissolution of the parliament and holding early parliamentary elections on December 10. On the same day, Armenian President Armen Sarkisyan accepted the resignation of the government. 

Under the Armenian Constitution, early elections are held if lawmakers fail twice within 14 days to appoint a prime minister. Now the parliament will have to convene again within one week for another vote. 

The director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute, Alexander Markarov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza earlier, estimated Pashinyan's risks when he will resign as zero. "After yesterday's statements by 14 members of the Republican faction, and then several more joined them, the RPA does not have enough votes to support its candidate after Pashinyan’s resignation or block someone else's. Pashinyan's logic is that after his resignation, not a single political force can nominate an alternative candidate, due to which the parliament will be dissolved and new parliamentary election will be held," he said.