Armenia's parliament to elect new prime minister May 1

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Armenian lawmakers will vote for a new prime minister May 1.

The country's political crisis deepened Wednesday when Dashnaktsutyun, the junior partner of Sargsyan's ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), announced it was leaving the governing coalition and urged HHK to swear in a prime minister who "enjoys the people's confidence", Radio Free Europe reported.

Pashinian has threatened extended protests, which continued Thursday, if the Republican Party nominates a candidate.

Pashinian has called for parliamentary elections to be held soon after the parliament appoints a caretaker government, as well as for a reform of the country's election laws to allow for free and fair elections. The impasse in Armenia's political crisis remains with political parties holding meetings in search of a solution. Tens of thousands rallied in the capital Yerevan on Wednesday in support for his bid for the premiership.

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Russian Federation - which has a military base in Armenia - has pledged it would not intervene but its top officials welcomed counterparts from the South Caucasus nation for talks on Thursday and Putin discussed the crisis with Karapetyan.

President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian issued a message on April 26 following yesterday's consultations with the political forces and public-political figures, the Presidential Office told Armenpress.

Acting PM Karapetian too has close ties with Russian Federation.

Sargsyan resigned on Monday, following days of protests in Yerevan against his government, which critics accuse of corruption and authoritarian rule.

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"If I am not elected prime minister, then Armenia will not have a prime minister at all", said the 42-year-old former newspaper editor.

"It was stressed that the settlement of the crisis situation in Armenia should be conducted exclusively within the legal framework", the Kremlin said after the phone talks. However, according to analysts, Sargsyan's resignation has unsettled Russian interests in Armenia. A candidate would need 53 votes to get elected.

Pashinyan has called for the "capitulation" of the Republican Party of Armenia which has a parliamentary majority.

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