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Seda Ghukasyan

Constitutional Procedure for Armenian Prime Minister Election: Pashinyan is Currently the Only Declared Candidate

Article 149 of the Armenian Constitution, about the election and appointment of the prime minister, envisages that “within a seven-day period of accepting the Government’s resignation in case of the Prime Minister submitting a resignation or the office of the Prime Minister becoming vacant, the factions of the National Assembly shall have the right to nominate candidates for the Prime Minister. 

The National Assembly shall elect the Prime Minister by majority vote of the total number of parliamentarians. 

If a Prime Minister is not elected, a new election of the prime minister shall be held seven days after the vote, in which the prime-minister candidates nominated by at least one third of the total number of parliamentarians may take part. If a Prime Minister is not elected by majority vote of the total number of parliamentarians, the National Assembly shall be dissolved by virtue of law. 

The election of the Prime Minister shall be conducted by open vote. 

The President of the Republic shall immediately appoint as Prime Minister the candidate elected by the National Assembly.” 

A special session of the Armenian National Assembly will be convened on May 1. 

According to statements made by the Yelk, ARF, and Tsarukyan parliamentary factions, they are going to vote in favor of Nikol Pashinyan’s candidacy (not officially nominated yet). This amounts to 47 out of 105 MPs voting for Pashinyan. However, in order to be elected, Pashinyan needs at least 53 votes. 

Citizens are actively discussing whether the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) will vote for Nikol Pashinyan or will boycott the parliamentary elections, hoping for snap parliamentary elections. 

However, even if Pashinyan is elected on May 1, Article 151 of the Constitution allows for another “chance” to dismiss the parliament. 

It says: 

1. Within a 20-day period of the formation of the Government, the Prime Minister shall present to the National Assembly the program of the Government.

2. The National Assembly shall approve the Program of the Government within a seven-day period by majority vote of the total number of parliamentarians.

3. If the National Assembly does not approve the Program of the Government and does not elect a new Prime Minister in accordance with Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 149 of the Constitution, then the National Assembly shall be dissolved by virtue of law. If the National Assembly elects the Prime Minister, but once again does not approve the Program of the Government, the National Assembly shall be dissolved by virtue of law. 

The deadline for parliamentary factions to nominate a candidate for prime minister expires tomorrow, April 30, at 18:00. 

Tigran Avinyan, spokesperson for the Civil Contract party, told us that Nikol Pashinyan’s candidacy would be officially submitted to the parliament today on behalf of the Yelk Alliance faction. 

Arsen Babayan, Head of the Media and Public Relations Department of the National Assembly, said that the nominations would be tallied as soon as the nomination period expired. 

Photo: Narek Aleksanyan 

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