Pashinyan rallies voters ahead of tense polls

Pashinyan rallies voters ahead of tense polls

Armenian Prime Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday urged voters to hand him a new mandate as around 20,000 supporters packed a central square in the capital Yerevan ahead of snap polls.

"The moment of truth has arrived," declared Pashinyan, who turned up at the rally in the capital's Republic Square with his wife and children. "On June 20 we will come to the polls to stage a steel revolution," he added as the crowd cheered and chanted "Nikol!"

During an aggressive campaign that sparked warnings from the country's rights ombudsman, he has urged voters to give him a "steel mandate" and brandished a hammer.

On Sunday, the small South Caucasus country holds early parliamentary polls called by Pashinyan in an attempt to diffuse a political crisis after a disastrous war with Azerbaijan last year, AFP reported.

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