Armenia’s prime minister stepped down Tuesday, a political maneuver aimed at forcing an early election.

Nikol Pashinian, who took office in May after spearheading weeks of protests that forced the resignation of his predecessor, has pushed for an early parliamentary election this fall in a bid to unseat foes who maintain a majority.

He announced his resignation on live national television, saying that the early vote is needed “to return the power to the people.”

Pashinian, a former journalist, tapped public anger over the widespread poverty, high unemployment and rampant corruption that flourished under the old government.

Early elections are held if lawmakers fail to appoint a prime minister, and Pashinian persuaded his opponents not to nominate any candidates. He led thousands of supporters to besiege parliament earlier this month to force his foes to accept an early vote.

He said on television that he hopes that his opponents wouldn’t attempt to “cross the red line” and vote in their candidate for prime minister.

Source: The Associated Press

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