June 7, 2018 / 6:04 PM / 10 months ago

Armenia should hold parliamentary election within an year, new PM says

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan speaks to media in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia should hold an early parliamentary election within a year, its newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday.

Opposition leader Pashinyan was elected prime minister by Armenia’s parliament on May 8, capping a peaceful revolution driven by weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism.

After taking power, Pashinyan appointed his allies and supporters as new ministers and submitted a new government programme, which was approved by the parliament on Thursday.

Pashinyan said the composition of political forces in the parliament did not reflect the country’s political reality. A year would give enough time to ensure that the electoral system was fair before holding a new parliamentary election.

“Holding a parliamentary election within a year will allow us to improve the electoral system and will give political parties an opportunity to ... prepare for the election,” Pashinyan told parliament.

Fighting corruption would be one of the priorities of his cabinet, he said.

“I’d like to be very honest and say that ... I won’t be involved in any corrupt deals, will not have any unofficial income, property or shares and will be demanding the same from each government member and each official,” Pashinyan said.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Peter Graff

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