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‘There won’t be any oligarchs in my government,’ Armenian PM contender promises

Mass opposition rallies broke out in Armenia on April 13
Nikol Pashinyan  Artiom Geodakyan/TASS
Nikol Pashinyan
© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

YEREVAN, May 7. /TASS/. Candidate for Armenia’s premiership Nikol Pashinyan has vowed that there won’t be any oligarchs in the new government he seeks to form if elected on May 8.

"I state officially that there won’t be any oligarchs in my government," the opposition leader told reporters on Monday. "The economy will have no monopolies if I am elected," he pledged.

Armenia’s parliament will vote for a new prime minister on Tuesday, May 8. Earlier, the Republican Party of Armenia faction that blocked Pashinyan’s election as prime minister on May 1, said it would back him now. Most ballots for Pashinyan on May 1 came from the Tsarukyan bloc, led by business executive Gagik Tsarukyan.

Mass opposition rallies broke out in Armenia on April 13. Ten days later on April 23, Armenia's then-newly appointed Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned amid the ongoing unrest. Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan was appointed as Acting Prime Minister. Two days later, the ruling parliamentary coalition collapsed following the exit of the Dashnaktsutyun party.

On May 1, Armenia’s parliament rejected opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid to become prime minister. Pashinyan was backed by 45 lawmakers, but failed to obtain the 53 seats he needed to have a majority. After that, he called on his supporters to continue large-scale civil disobedience actions.