YEREVAN, May 9. /TASS/. Thousands of people gathered on Yerevan’s central Freedom Square on Sunday to support former President Robert Kocharian and his election bloc, Armenia, a TASS correspondent reported from the site.
"Our struggle is for Armenia’s present and future. <…> We guarantee freedom, justice and solidarity," said Ishkhan Saghatelyan of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party (Dashnaktsutyun), a co-founder of the Armenia bloc, said during the rally.
Earlier in the day, Kocharian, who was Armenia’s president in 1998-2008, Saghatelyan and Vaghe Akopian, the leader of the Reviving Armenia party, signed a memorandum of the establishment of the Armenia bloc to take part in the snap parliamentary elections.
On May 3, Armenia’s parliament voted for the appointment of Nikol Pashinyan as acting prime minister until early parliamentary elections. The parliament will convene for a second session to elect a new prime minister on May 10. If the lawmakers fail to vote for Pashinyan’s election again, the legislative body will be dissolved and President Armen Sarkissian will appoint the date for the snap polls. According to Pashinyan’s earlier statements, early elections will he held on June 20.
Parliamentary opposition factions Bright Armenia and Prosperous Armenia have already said they would not nominate their candidates for prime minister after Pashinyan’s resignation.
Lilit Makunts, leader of the My Step ruling faction, said on Thursday Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party would take part in the early parliamentary polls independently and would enter in no blocs with other political forces.
Experts say Kocharyan’s key rivals will be former Presidents Robert Kocharian’s and Serzh Sargsyan’s blocs.