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Armenian prime minister steps down to pave way for early elections

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said he was quitting his post to trigger the dissolution of the country's parliament and hold early legislative elections, according to media reports.

Pashinyan seeks to schedule a vote before the end of 2018 in an attempt to weaken the influence of former Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and eventually return as prime minister with control of the parliament, Agence France-Presse noted in a report.

Pashinyan succeeded Sarkisian, who resigned in April to end anti-government protests that plunged the former Soviet republic into a political crisis.

Snap legislative elections can be called if the parliament fails twice to name a new prime minister and is dissolved, according to Reuters.

Under the Armenian constitution, early elections should be held within 30 to 45 days after the parliament is dissolved.