Armenian ruling party won't nominate own candidate for PM

Armenia's ruling party says it will not put forward a candidate for prime minister to keep from exacerbating the country's political crisis.

Armenian lawmakers are scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on a replacement for Serzh Sargsyan, who resigned Monday amid massive street demonstrations over his selection as prime minister.

But so far, the only candidate put forward is opposition lawmaker Nikola Pashinian, who spearheaded the anti-government protests that prompted Sargsyan to step down.

Sargsyan's Republican party holds a majority in parliament, which made him premier after he was termed out as president.

Party spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said Saturday that Republican lawmakers would consider all candidates, then vote as a bloc.

He says the decision not to nominate a candidate was made "to avoid confrontation and destabilization of the country."