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Protestors shout slogans and wave flags in Yerevan. Photo: Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images

Armenia's opposition leader has called for protests that have swept through the country to be suspended after the ruling party signaled it would pave the way for him to become prime minister.

Why it matters: After three weeks of demonstrations, the old order in Armenia is wobbling. "The crisis in Armenia, which has a population of only about three million people and a Russian military base on its territory, is being closely watched in Moscow," per the AP, which notes that protesters are up against "a ruling elite which is determined to hold on to power and still controls the security apparatus."

  • April 17: Serzh Sargsyan, running up against term limits after 10 years as president, pushes through constitutional changes to shift power to the prime minister and assumes that office.
  • April 23: Sargsyan resigns as prime minister following massive street demonstrations, saying, "I was wrong." Karen Karapetyan, a former prime minister and Sargsyan ally, becomes acting prime minister.
  • April 25: Protesters return to the streets after Karapetyan cancels transition talks with opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, citing unacceptable "unilateral" demands.
  • April 26: Again succumbing to protests, the government announces that parliament will select a new prime minister in a special session on May 1. Pashinyan is the only candidate.
  • May 1: Parliament, controlled by Sargsyan's party, rejects Pashinyan by a 55-45 vote. Pashinyan calls for a nationwide campaign of non-violent civil disobedience.
  • May 2: "Protesters blocked some routes into Armenia's capital and a road to the airport," per the AP. Pashinyan suspends the protests after "after the governing Republican Party indicated it would support his bid to be interim prime minister," per the BBC.
  • May 8: Parliament is scheduled to hold another special section to elect an interim leader with Pashinyan — at least for now — appearing to have the support he needs.

Smart take: "Armenia's ruling party is playing a high-stakes game of chicken with the opposition. Moscow must be getting nervous and is likely ready to pounce. Let's hope the protests stay peaceful and the provocateurs are kept at bay," Michael Carpenter, director of the Penn-Biden Center and former Pentagon and NSC official tweeted on Tuesday.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.