Armenia protest leader Nikol Pashinyan elected prime minister

Armenia protest leader Nikol Pashinyan elected prime minister

The parliament on Tuesday, May 8 elected Pashinyan as the country's new prime minister after weeks of political standoff, a civil campaign against the ruling authorities and massive protests in Yerevan and across the country. Nearly all MPs from the Republican Party of Armenia voted against appointing the leader of the Velvet Revolution as the head of the government.

Nikol Pashinyan has been elected Armenia's prime minister in the second round of voting in the country's parliament, the National Assembly, with 59 lawmakers giving their ballots for his candidacy and 42 voting against him. The remaining votes came from the ruling Republican Party, who had promised this time they wouldn't obstruct Pashinyan's election.

Before his resignation, Sargsyan was appointed prime minister last month after serving 10 years as the country's president. A general strike across Armenia took place the following day, and eventually Republican MPs agreed they would back him in an 8 May vote. Later, he joined the protest movement lead by the First President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan (1991-1998), who was again nominated as presidential candidate in 2007, so challenging Serzh Sargsyan during the presidential elections.

Analyst Vigen Akopyan said snap elections looked certain.

"This is a remarkable shift in Armenian politics", said Laurence Broers, an associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank's Russian Federation and Eurasia program, adding: "The desire for change is coming from within".

"There will be no privileged people in Armenia".

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"I am in a working mood, there is no sense of euphoria, just work to do", Mr. Pashinyan said. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said.

"The victory is not that I was elected prime minister", Pashinyan told the crowd. That move appeared to ensure Pashinian would be chosen Tuesday.

Pashinian, is a former journalist who edited Armenia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Haykakan Zhamanak", from 1999-2012.

After blocking his bid on May 1, Republican Party provided the Pashinian with the support needed to become premier. He first ran for the parliament in 2007 as the top candidate of an opposition group that challenged then President Robert Kocharian.

As EADaily reported earlier, Serzh Sargsyan resigned on April 23 amidst protest actions against his election.

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