Nikol Pashinyan elected Armenia's prime minister

09 May, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Armenia’s opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan

Before April, the ruling Republican Party's stranglehold on Armenian politics had appeared intact, with Mr Sargsyan newly installed as prime minister after term limits forced him to step down as president after 10 years. Forty-five MPs voted for him, while 53 votes were required.

After failing to get enough votes from the National Assembly, Pashinyan called on supporters to block streets, airports, the railway and other public transportation. It marks a dramatic split from a corps of leaders who have run Armenia since the late 1990s, developing a reputation for corruption and cronyism.

"I hope that your performance as the head of government will contribute to efforts to further strengthen friendly, allied relations between our countries, partnership within the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization", Putin stressed in his message of congratulations.

The result amounts to a peaceful revolution in Armenia, a small nation of around 3 million people that borders Russia, Turkey and Iran.

But throughout Armenia's wave of protests, Moscow has remained publicly neutral, and Pashinyan has consistently said he viewed Moscow as a vital ally.

The situation in Armenia has been tense since April 13, when protests led by Pashinyan began in Armenia.

"We did not change our position".

The idea of fresh elections is also supported by businessman Gagik Tsarukian's alliance and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.




In Yerevan's Republic Square, Pashinyan's supporters watched the voting on huge television screens. On both occasions, Pashinyan was the only candidate.

In the wake of the vote, people took to the streets of Armenia's capital Erevan to hold a rally.

Another analyst, Stepan Safaryan, said Armenia was now entering "an interesting period of disequilibrium".

Pashinyan, a former journalist, has led weeks of anti-government demonstrations, prompting the prime minister to resign.

Observers have expressed concern that the turmoil could destabilise the country locked in a decades-long territorial dispute with Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan's protest movement had accused Sarkisian of a blatant power grab.

Nikol Pashinian, who was named the new prime minister by parliament on Tuesday, has repeatedly said that he would not seek to change Armenia's cooperation with Russian Federation.

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