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Armenia PM Announces Snap Election to Defuse Crisis

Armenia PM Announces Snap Election to Defuse Crisis
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_time 26 days ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday announced a snap parliamentary election to be held June 20 in an effort to defuse a political crisis sparked by last year's war with Azerbaijan.

Armenia has been in the grip of political upheaval since November when Pashinyan signed a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan that ended six weeks of fighting for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

"Snap parliamentary elections will be held on June 20 this year," Pasinyan wrote on Facebook, saying the decision was taken following talks with the opposition and the president.

He said the polls represented "the best way out of the current internal political situation".

Pashinyan has been under pressure to step down after agreeing to the ceasefire with Azerbaijan, which many in Armenia saw as a national humiliation.

Under the deal Yerevan was forced to hand over swathes of disputed territory to Azerbaijan and allow Russian peacekeepers to deploy to regions it had controlled for three decades.

Both anti-government protesters and Pashinyan's supporters have regularly taken to the streets ever since.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian region that broke from Azerbaijan's control during a war in the early 1990s.

Fresh fighting erupted over the region in late September with Azerbaijani forces backed by ally Turkey making steady gains.

The conflict claimed around 6,000 lives from both sides.