Armenia’s President Sarkisyan vows to prevent strife after parliamentary elections

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YEREVAN, June 8. /TASS/. Armenian President Armen Sarkisyan has pledged to do everything possible in order to prevent any violence or unrest after the June 20 snap parliamentary elections, the presidential press service announced Tuesday.

“Today, the public is occupied by the elections, and I hope that they will bring some stability and clarity about our country’s future, that the June elections will solve our problems. As president, I will do everything I can, I will use my main tools – those being my words, because I have no other tools – so that the country had more humane, stable elections, without strife or riots,” Sarkisyan said during the online meeting with the US Armenian Lawyers’ Association.

Earlier, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan promised to carry out “civil vendettas, revenge and staff purges.”

In June, campaigning for the snap parliamentary elections kicked off in Armenia, after Prime Minister Pashinyan and leaders of parliamentary factions struck an agreement. On May 10, the lawmakers carried out all necessary formalities to make the dissolution of parliament legally possible. Later, President Sarkisyan named the election date – June 20. Pashinyan and his cabinet remain in office as acting ministers until the elections. Pashinyan’s party, the Civil Contract, is also running in the elections.

According to experts, one of Pashinyan’s main rivals will be ex-President Robert Kocharyan and his political alliance, dubbed the Armenia Bloc. Other contenders include ex-President Serzh Sargsyan and his Republican Party, currently in a bloc with the Homeland, led by the ex-National Security Service head Artur Vanetsyan. The country’s opposition parties – Prosperous Armenia and Enlightened Armenia – will also run in the elections without entering any blocs.