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Armenian opposition lacks 13 votes to elect its leader as prime minister

The Elk bloc plans to officially nominate Nikol Pashinyan as the head of government

YEREVAN, April 25. /TASS/. Supporters of Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan have secured 40 votes out of 53 needed to elect him as the country’s prime minister, opposition MP from the Elk faction Edmon Marukyan told TASS on Wednesday.

"Some 53 votes of MPs are needed for the parliament to elect Pashinyan as the country’s prime minister. The Elk faction and the Prosperous Armenia Party, which joined the protests, have a total of 40 votes. Another 13 votes are needed from the ruling Republicans and the Dashnaktsutyun faction. I think we will be able to collect these votes," Marukyan stressed.

The Elk bloc plans to officially nominate Pashinyan as the head of government, he noted.

The ruling Armenian Republican Party’s faction has 58 seats in the parliament, Elk and Dashnaktsutyun have 9 and 7, respectively. The Tsarukyan bloc has 31 seats.

Several Armenian opposition parties have joined the movement of Pashinyan, which calls for power transition.

Opposition rallies continued in Yerevan and other Armenian cities on Wednesday and the situation remains very tense.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian announced earlier on Wednesday that he was beginning consultations with political parties to search for solutions to end the crisis in the country.

On Monday, Serzh Sargsyan, formerly the president who was elected as the prime minister by the parliament on April 17, resigned amid mass protests that started across the country on April 13. The protests are led by opposition leader from the Elk bloc Nikol Pashinyan.

On Wednesday, Pashinyan and Acting Prime Minister Karen Karpetyan were scheduled to hold talks, but the meeting was canceled.