YEREVAN, April 30. /TASS/. Armenia’s opposition leader and an MP of the Yelk parliamentary faction Nikol Pashinyan on Monday pledged to try to return Azerbaijan to a constructive dialogue on Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed border region between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan, who was officially nominated as a candidate for the country’s prime minister earlier in the day, said he "absolutely supports the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and would do his utmost to bring Azerbaijan back to a constructive dialogue." "If I become the prime minister, we should increase Armenia’s defensive capacity and make all efforts to enhance the army."
Since April 13, opposition’s widespread protests have gripped Armenia. On April 23, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan tendered his resignation in the wake of protests. On April 25, the ruling coalition broke up after the Dashnaktsutyun party had left it.
The parliament is scheduled to elect prime minister on May 1. Three parliamentary factions - the Tsarukyan Alliance and Dashnaktsutyun and Yelk - vowed that they would vote in favor of Pashinyan. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia will not nominate its candidate.
Pashinyan (an MP of the Yelk faction) will become prime minister if 53 out of 105 (a simple majority) of MPs vote for him in the one-chamber parliament. The faction of the ruling Republic Party of Armenia has 58 seats in the parliament, while Yelk has nine, Dashnaktsutyun has seven, and the Tsarukyan bloc has 31 seats.