Armenia's reformist Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian signed a joint memorandum on holding early parliamentary elections by the end of this year. Tsarukian pledged to give full support to help PM Pashinian in his bid to organize snap elections in December.
The move came after Armenian lawmakers, including MPs from BHK, approved a bill earlier this month, making it harder to disband parliament and hold snap elections. Pashinian accused Tsarukian's party of engaging in a counter-revolutionary conspiracy and drove his party out of the governing coalition. In a fresh crisis, he fired six ministers in charge of energy, economic development, agriculture and transport, while threatening to resign from his post within days. If he resigned, Pashinian could trigger an election, but only if parliament failed to select a new prime minister, twice.
While still at the peak of his popularity, Pashinian, who has campaigned against corruption and for economic reform, has sought new elections in order to overcome political crisis in the country.
Pashinian, who took office in May after spearheading weeks of protests that forced the resignation of his predecessor, Serzh Sargsyan, has pushed for an early parliamentary election in December in a bid to unseat his political foes who have maintained a majority in parliament. He has been at loggerheads with Sargsyan's Republican Party, which still controls parliament and has stood in the way of his reforming drive.