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Armenians rally in support of ex-president Kocharyan ahead of vote

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: People attend an opposition rally in Yerevan

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Several thousand Armenians rallied in the capital Yerevan on Sunday to show their support for a new political alliance created by former president Robert Kocharyan ahead of an early election next month.

The alliance, called Reviving Armenia, will run in early parliamentary elections set to take place on June 20.

In a speech to thousands of supporters chanting "Armenia" and waving flags, Kocharyan pledged his alliance would help revive the economy and recover from ethnic Armenians' loss of swathes of territory in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region in a six-week conflict with Azerbaijan last year, local news outlets reported.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan triggered an early vote last month by announcing his resignation.

Pashinyan, who emerged as the leader of a wave of anti-government street protests in 2018, had been under pressure to resign since he agreed to a ceasefire with Azeri forces.

Pashinyan said he had been compelled to agree to the Russian-brokered deal to prevent greater human and territorial losses.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by David Evans)