Russian president, acting Armenian PM mull settlement of crisis in Armenia

Armenia's Parliament To Vote For New Prime Minister On May 1

Russian Federation has a military base in Armenia and President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged restraint when he spoke by phone to Armenian President Armen Sarkisian, who is no relation to Serzh Sarkisian, and is a ceremonial figurehead.

The Armenian parliament will elect the country's new prime minister on May 1, according to a statement posted on the parliament's website on Thursday.

The country's ex-Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on Monday after almost two weeks of protests against the ruling Republican Party.

Pashinyan has called for the "capitulation" of the Republican Party of Armenia which has a parliamentary majority.

The Russian embassy in Yerevan said Wednesday that its officials had met with Pashinyan.

Pashinyan, if elected, wants to reform the electoral system to ensure it is fair before holding new parliamentary elections.

Pashinyan demanded the "explicit and unconditional capitulation of the Republican Party to the people" and warned that if Karapetyan were made prime minister, protesters would blockade the parliament building and the prime minister's office in Yerevan. "My goal is bring real changes to Armenia". A candidate would need 53 votes to get elected.

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They agreed that political forces must show restraint and solve the crisis through dialogue, the Kremlin said.

"We want justice, and we want Nikol Pashinyan to be the prime minister", Lili Arakilyan, a young protester, said.

He has insisted the new premier must be a "people's candidate" and not a member of Sarkisian's party, and said he was himself willing to lead.

Talks between Pashinyan and acting government head Karen Karapetyan to discuss a "peaceful" transfer of power were cancelled this week.

Analyst Stepan Safaryan said that, while the core of the Republican Party has no intention of backing down, he did not rule out that some of the party's lawmakers would vote for Pashinyan. The fact is a new Armenia where a civil, organized, and civilized movement became an all-Armenian movement that we can be proud of.

Denying this reality would be a political shortsightedness.

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