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Former Yerevan Mayor Launches New Party in Bid to Oust Pashinyan

Former Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan, once a close ally of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, has established a new party that aims to oust Pashinyan as the Armenian leader in the 2026 parliamentary election.

Marutyan, who served as mayor from 2018-2021, was elected head of the “New Power” (Nor Ouzh) party he established at the party’s founding congress today.

A former TV comedian, Marutyan supported Pashinyan’s movement to oust Serzh Sargsyan as president that culminated in the 2018 “Velvet Revolution”.

Marutyan, who was removed as Yerevan mayor in a no confidence vote, told supporters attending the congress that Pashinyan “must go”, accusing the current government of betraying the people of Artsakh and failing to address the dangers now facing Armenia.

“These authorities do not inspire any confidence. Nikol Pashinyan and his team have nothing more to do," Marutyan said.

Marutyan described his new party as “social reformist”, and that it will soon launch a campaign to defeat the government’s plan to raise public transportation prices.

In September 2023, Marutyan sought reelection as Yerevan mayor, running on the National Progress Party of Armenia (NPPA) ballot.

The NPPA came in second place with 18.9% of the vote and won fourteen seats in the Yerevan Municipal Council.

Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party won 32.6% of the vote and won twenty-four seats in the council.

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