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Narek Aleksanyan

Yerevan: Thousands Converge on National Assembly to Protest Controversial Bill

Heeding the call of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, thousands of irate citizens converged on the grounds of the National Assembly in Yerevan last night to voice their opposition to a controversial bill that would make it more difficult for Pashinyan to disband the legislature and call new elections.

The grounds have been closed to civilians for years.

Introduced by the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), the bill was passed yesterday with backing from the ARF and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).

Pashinyan joined the protesters and then entered the National Assembly to discuss the situation with MPs inside. Two and a half hours later he reemerged, telling the crowd that he would resign as prime minister in the near future in order to hold snap parliamentary elections either in late November of early December.

(Under the Armenian constitution, snap elections can be called only if the prime minister resigns and the parliament fails to replace him or her by someone else within two weeks. The approved bill amends the existing Law on Regulations of the National Assembly, and states that if a parliament session cannot be held because of force majeure conditions (lack of quorum, or if MPs are prevented from participating), it should be considered interrupted rather than failed, and resumed at a later date. The intent of the bill appears to be to limit the circumstances under which the parliament can be dissolved.)

Երևան, 2 հոկտ. 2018 թ.։