Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan elected PM of Armenia

09 May, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Change of power in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh settlement

The leader of Armenian protests Nikol Pashinyan has been elected prime minister by Armenia's parliament with 59 votes to 42 in favour of his candidacy.

Armenia's parliament has opened a session to elect a main minister, for which opposition lawmaker and protest chief Nikol Pashinian is the one nominee.

"My first work after my election will be ensuring a normal life in the country", Pashinyan said ahead of the vote.

Under Armenian law, the parliament has to elect a prime minister a week after the first attempt of the vote, otherwise the legislature will automatically be dissolved.

Armenia's newly elected prime minister has promised sweeping changes to the thousands of protesters who rallied around his bid to unseat the country's entrenched political elite.

Later, Pashinyan brought together his ties with the Armenian National Congress and organized his own small and rather marginalized political party "Civil Agreement" which entered Parliament in a political alliance with the "Republic Party of Armenia" lead by former PM Aram Sargsyan and "Bright Armenia" party, making up 8% in Parliament.

After Sarkisian's resignation last month following ten days of peaceful protests, the opposition lawmaker said only he could be the next prime minister.

Since it emerged as an independent state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia, a majority Christian country, has been locked in a territorial conflict with mainly-Muslim Azerbaijan, and under economic blockade from Turkey. Bagdasaryan said today that they were voting for Pashinyan in spite of the fact that they were not reassured.

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His protest movement began with a march of non-violence on March 31, demanding Sargsyan to step down.

Opponents from the ruling Republican Party have accused Pashinyan - who says he wants good relations with both Russian Federation and the West - of being unpredictable and lacking a clear programme and ideology.

"There will be no privileged people in Armenia".

In an interview during the protests, Mr Pashinyan said dark political forces had been trying to derail Armenia's peaceful revolution.

"On the other hand, as the protest movement has shown, he can be flexible", he said.

"The victory is not my being elected prime minister", he added.

He went into hiding but surrendered in 2009. He returned to Yerevan on foot on April 13 after walking more than 200 kilometers through the country's northern and central regions in an effort to drum up popular support for his cause.

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