Armenia’s president on Thursday dissolved parliament and called an early election, a political maneuver intended to unseat the current parliament majority.
President Armen Sarkisian’s move is in sync with acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s efforts to unseat his foes in parliament. Sarkisian set the early election for Dec. 9.
Pashinian took office in May after spearheading weeks of protests that forced the resignation of his predecessor, but his political opponents retained a majority in parliament. Last month, Pashinian announced his resignation, saying that an early vote is needed “to return the power to the people.”
Armenian law says a snap election must be held if lawmakers twice fail to pick a new head of government within 14 days of a prime minister’s resignation. On Thursday, the parliament failed to choose a new prime minister for a second time, allowing the president to dissolve the parliament and call a new vote.
Pashinian, a former journalist, tapped into public anger over the widespread poverty, high unemployment and rampant corruption that flourished under the old government in this landlocked former Soviet republic that borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran.
He has stayed in charge as acting prime minister, saying he would serve as a “guarantor of the people’s victory,” and members of his Cabinet also have continued to perform their duties.