YEREVAN: Armenia’s Ruling Republican Party will not seek to nominate anyone for the top job in the country on May 1, said spokesperson of the Republican Party of Armenia and deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, Eduard Sharmazanov at a press briefing on Saturday.

“Taking into account the domestic political situation, the ruling Republican party decided that the party will not nominate a candidate for Prime Minister in the parliament voting on May 1,” Sharmazanov said while presenting the party’s statement. On April 23, prime minister of Armenia and leader of the ruling Republican Party, Serzh Sargsyan stepped down amid mass protests that have gripped the ex-Soviet republic. Following a referendum held in Dec of 2015, Armenia has effectively shifted from a semi-presidential system of governance to a parliamentary one where the prime minister’s office holds most of the executive power in the country, with the president’s job now being largely ceremonial.

Nikol Pashinyan, an opposition MP who is the leader of the protests that ousted former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, insists that the political parties in the parliament should vote him in as the next interim PM before new snap elections. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the smallest faction in the National Assembly has vowed to vote for a “united people’s candidate.” It remains to be seen how the other two factions, namely the Tsarukyan bloc and the ruling Republicans plan to vote on May 1.