Armenian Protest Leader Gets Second Chance At Prime Minister In Parliamentary Vote

Hannah Rogers
May 9, 2018

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.

On Tuesday, may 8, deputies of the Parliament of Armenia at the meeting of the elected opposition leader Nikol Pashinian for the post of Prime Minister of the country, reports the Chronicle.info with reference for Today. 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.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Armenian parliament endorsed Pashinyan as the head of government. The protests centered on frustration with widespread poverty and corruption within the nation and on former President Serzh Sargsyan's turning into prime minister, which was seen as a maneuver to stay the nation's chief indefinitely.

Pashinyan set up the Civil Contract party, which entered parliament in 2017 as part of the opposition coalition.

After Sarkisian's resignation last month following ten days of peaceful protests, the opposition lawmaker said only he could be the next prime minister. "Armenia will once and for all turn the page of political persecutions".

Supporters say Mr Pashinyan, who was also imprisoned after opposition rallies in 2008 turned deadly, is among history's great peaceful revolutionaries.

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Small protests loosely organised around the slogan "No to Serzh" began in March.

In December 2015, controversial constitutional amendments initiated by Sarkisian were passed after a referendum that saw some 63 percent of the voters backing the country's transformation into a parliamentary republic with executive powers fully concentrated in the hands of a prime minister.

Armenia is a country of about three million people nestled in mountains between Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

He went into hiding but surrendered in 2009. "Corruption will be eliminated from Armenia", he said. He said his ministers will be chosen "as a result of discussions" with his allies and other political groups.

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. "The victory is that you chose who would be prime minister". He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 but was released the following year under an amnesty.

After blocking his bid on May 1, Republican Party provided the Pashinian with the support needed to become premier.

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