Armenia to hold early parliamentary election in June

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia’s prime minister has set a snap parliamentary election for June as he sought to defuse the country’s political crisis. The opposition pushing for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation has demanded that he step down before the vote. Armenia has been gripped by political tensions after suffering a humiliating defeat last year in an armed conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory within Azerbaijan that Armenia-backed separatists controlled for more than 25 years. The opposition supporters have been blocking government buildings and barricaded streets to press the demand for Pashinyan to step down. Pashinyan said after Thursday’s talks with the head of an opposition faction in parliament that the early election will be held on June 20.