YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia’s prime minister has resigned, a step necessary to hold snap parliamentary elections in June.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the June 20 elections last month to try to resolve political tensions that arose after last year’s defeat in a war with Azerbaijan.
Under a cease-fire signed by Pashinyan, Armenia ceded large swaths of territory in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan that had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a separatist war in 1994.
The agreement sparked large protests calling for Pashinyan’s ouster that persisted for months.
Under Armenian law, snap elections can be held after a premier resigns and the parliament fails twice to choose a new one.
“If the people decide that I should leave the prime minister’s post, I will obey that decision,” Pashinyan said Sunday in announcing his resignation. He will continue to act as the the country’s leader until the election.