Armenian PM says ready to hold snap polls

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the ruling party is ready for snap elections if Parliament approves it.

“Let’s hold another election and we will see whose resignation the people demand,” Pashinyan said at a rally here on Monday.

Meanwhile, he appealed to his supporters to hold a national referendum to adopt a new Constitution in October.

“I think it’s time to make efforts to adopt a new Constitution or Constitutional amendments in October of this year by a national referendum, and transition to a semi-presidential system should be one of the possible options,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that this procedure should be carried out in a close collaboration with the National Assembly, the government, the President, political forces and the civil society.

The remarks came amid a rising tension between Pashinyan and Armenian army’s general staff and the opposition parties on the resignation of the government.

Pashinyan submitted another request to the President on February 27 to seek the dismissal of Onik Gasparyan, the army’s general staff chief shortly after President Armen Sarkissian refused to sign the request and said the motion to fire the military chief was unconstitutional.

On February 25, Pashinyan dismissed Gasparyan, accusing him of attempting a military coup.

The Prime Minister’s order needs a formal approval from the presidency.

Earlier on February 25, Gasparyan, his deputies and dozens of top military commanders had signed a statement, demanding Pashinyan and his cabinet resign.