Armenian opposition leader says ‘ready to lead’ country

Armenian opposition leader says ‘ready to lead’ country

Yerevan: 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.
Armenia, which has been gripped by a political crisis for two weeks, is then expected to hold new parliamentary elections.
Serzh Sargsyan quit as prime minister on Monday.
“Armenia is starting a new chapter in its history,” Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said in a statement.
Protests still on
Armenia’s political turmoil deepened with fresh protests set for Thursday after the opposition accused the ruling party of refusing to cede power, following the resignation of Sargsyan.
Protesters clapped, whistled, beat drums, banged pots and tooted car horns in demonstrations that underscored the political crisis gripping the impoverished former Soviet republic.
Many raised their hands in the air – a sign that the protest movement led by opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinyan is peaceful – and robed priests joined the rallies in an apparent attempt to prevent possible clashes.
Led by 42-year-old Pashinyan, thousands of demonstrators earlier in the day marched through Yerevan against the ruling Republican Party’s unwillingness to transfer power after its leader and former president Sargsyan stood down.
Pashinyan sported his trademark khaki-coloured T-shirt and clutched a megaphone as protesters chanted “Nikol for prime minister” and “We are the masters of our country.”
Armenia’s acting prime minister Karen Karapetyan on Wednesday suggested calling a parliamentary election as tens of thousands staged a new protest in the capital against the ruling elite.