Armenia's ruling party will back opposition leader

Armenia's ruling party will back opposition leader
Supporters of opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian protest in Republic Square in Yerevan on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Pashinyan has urged his supporters to block roads, railway stations and airports on Wednesday after the governing Republican Party voted against his election as prime minister. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — A top figure in Armenia’s ruling party says it will support opposition leader Nikol Pashinian as prime minister if he keeps his supporters from holding protests.

In a move to calm the turmoil that has gripped Armenia for weeks, the Republican Party earlier said it would support any candidate for premier nominated by one-third of the parliament deputies — support that Pashinian claims to have. Pashinian then called on demonstrators to cease their protests.

In an interview with the Associated Press, party deputy head Armen Ashotyan said “we will assist his election” if the streets remain calm.