Russian President Vladimir Putin and France’s Emmanuel Macron have called for an immediate ceasefire between ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, as the official death toll passed 100 and the two sides said they would continue fighting. The two sides are engaged in the heaviest fighting in years over Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian province that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Following the resignation of Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan last week in response to demonstrations, the leader of the protests Nikol Pashinyan hopes to become the next prime minister. Pashinyan, who claims he will rid Armenia of poverty and corruption, will need some votes from the ruling Republican Party in addition to the 47 opposition members to win.
The acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan cemented his power on Sunday dominating the country’s snap parliamentary election. Pashinyan pushed a peaceful agenda in April and now has a parliamentary majority to focus on addressing his goals reforming the economy and ending corruption. Pashinyan’s bloc won with more than 70% of the vote.
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan abruptly resigned on Monday following nearly two weeks of protests against his rule, leaving the opposition movement and leader Nikol Pashinyan unprepared for the transition. Sargsyan, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was prime minister for 10 years. A change in the government, could threaten Russia’s influence over Armenia.
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan called for a suspension in nationwide protests after the Republican party’s indication that they will support his bid to become Prime Minister. Pashinyan said ‘all factions said they would support my candidacy.’ The suspension comes after the ‘peaceful revolution’ protests brought most of Armenia to a standstill on Wednesday after the ruling Republicans blocked Pashinyan’s bid to become prime minister in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday.