Jakarta, CNN Indonesia –
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared his resignation on Sunday (25/4) but carried out the rest of his duties, namely formalizing the parliamentary vote to be held on June 20 in a bid to defuse the protracted political crisis.
Pashinyan has faced calls to step down since Russia-brokered a peace agreement with Azerbaijan in November, which ended a war between two arch-enemies for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“I am resigning from my position as prime minister today” and remain to hold a referendum on June 20, he said in an announcement posted on his Facebook page.
After Pashinyan announced his resignation, all members of his cabinet submitted their own resignations, as required by Armenian law.
Pashinyan said he would continue to fulfill his duties as head of the interim government.
Armenia’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the technologically superior Azerbaijan army sparked mass protests in the impoverished former Soviet republic on the border with Turkey and Iran.
The small Caucasus state, equipped with aging Soviet-era “legacy” military equipment, is struggling to defend territory it has held for three decades, when clashes erupted against better-armed Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh in September.
After six weeks of fighting that claimed some 6,000 lives, a peace treaty forced Armenia to surrender part of its territory to Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan insisted he handled the war right, saying he had no choice but to agree or see his country’s troops suffer greater losses and that opinion polls were the best way to end the post-war political stalemate.
The 45-year-old former newspaper editor came to power as the spearhead of peaceful protests in 2018 and initially brought a wave of optimism to Armenia.
(AFP / ard)