Armenia Announces Early Elections To Defuse Political Crisis

Armenia Announces Early Elections To Defuse Political Crisis
Eurasianet/Armenian Government

Armenia is set to hold early elections in June in accordance with an agreement between its prime minister and the head of its parliament’s biggest opposition bloc.

The decision, which was announced by PM Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday, is aimed at defusing the political crisis that resulted from the outcome of last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.

In a post on Facebook, Pashinyan said that he had agreed with the leader of the opposition bloc Prosperous Armenia, Gagik Tsarukian, to hold early general elections on June 20th.

“During the meeting we stated that the best way out of the current internal political situation is early parliamentary elections,” he wrote.

The International Republican Institute, an American NGO, recently revealed that 55% of respondents to a poll it had conducted said that they were in favor of early elections, with 57% of those saying the elections should take place as soon as spring.

The poll results contradicted previous claims by Pashinyan and his allies, who had been arguing that there was “no public demand” for elections.

Pashinyan came under fire after he signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan in November to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that had been raging for 6 weeks.

The agreement placed a significant part of the disputed region under Azerbaijani rule after decades of being under the control of ethnic Armenians.