Armenia elects protest leader as prime minister

09 May, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Armenia’s opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan

"The Republican Party has made the political decision to support the candidate nominated ... for the sake of stability in our country", said Vahram Bagdasaryan, the head of the Republicans' faction in parliament, in a speech before the vote. Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev said. The remaining votes came from the ruling Republican Party, who had promised this time they wouldn't obstruct Pashinyan's election.

In the lead-up to his election on Tuesday, Pashinyan said that he was committed to staying in an economic bloc and regional collective security organization led by Russian Federation, which is wary of an uncontrolled change of power that would pull the country out of Russia's orbit.

A year later Pashinyan was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of Ter-Petrosian's Armenian National Congress (HAK). The opposition accuses Sargsyan, who was twice elected president, of poor governance and deterioration of economic situation in the country.

Protesters accused Sargsyan of attempting a power grab under a new parliamentary system of government passed in a 2015 referendum that the opposition says was tainted by irregularities.

Azerbaijan insists that any resolution of the issue must keep Nagorno-Karabakh as a part of the country.

Expressing his gratitude to the MPs for voting and their position, the RA newly elected Prime Minister has noted that he serves the Republic of Armenia and its people.


On May 1, the governing party, which holds 58 out of 105 seats in Parliament, voted down his bid to become interim prime minister. "You can absolutely compare him with historical figures like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela", said Eduard Aghajanyan, a city council member from Mr Pashinyan's Civil Contract party, and one of Mr Pashinyan's young, western-educated advisers.

Armenia is a country of about three million people nestled in mountains between Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. He said his first priority was to organize the first fair parliamentary elections in many years.

Pashinyan reaffirmed his commitment to "strategic allied relations with Russia" when he again addressed fellow lawmakers just before Tuesday's parliament vote.

However, after six days in power, he was ousted amid mass protests on April 23.

The road ahead will be tough not least because Pashinyan will be stuck with the recalcitrant Republican Party majority indefinitely.

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