After weeks of wild protests, Armenia elects new PM

Armenia & Karabakh Velvet Revolution        Velvet Revolution Update
Armenia & Karabakh Velvet Revolution Velvet Revolution Update
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09 May, 2018

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland օn behalf of the Council of Europe congratulated Nikol Pashinyan on his election as Prime Minister of Armenia.

The National Assembly of Armenia elected the leader of the Armenian protest movement, 42-year-old Nikol Pashinyan as the new Prime Minister of the country, which, according to the new constitution, is now the most influential position in Armenia. Pashinyan had lost the original vote on May 1 due to initial opposition from the dominant Republican Party.

The election of Pashinyan, a former newspaper editor who spent time in prison for fomenting unrest, marks a rupture with the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.

The tipping point came two weeks ago when veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan, who had served the maximum two terms as president, was appointed prime minister - complete with new powers conferred by a controversial referendum he had supported. "I invested the maximum of my powers in my job".

The founder and head of Civil Contract party and lawmaker from the Yelk bloc, Pashinyan led the street campaign, which saw hundreds of thousands of Armenians taking to the streets in massive protests in the past several weeks.

Stung by the protests, Sargsyan stepped down.

Addressing the parliament before the vote, Pashinian pledged to implement "very serious reforms" that would democratize Armenia, strengthen the rule of law and radically improve the domestic business environmental.

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Pashinyan was the only candidate for the premiership.

Events in the small south Caucuses state have been closely watched in Moscow, an ally of Armenia. "The victory is the fact that it's you who have decided who must be prime minister of Armenia".

Pashinyan, who was one of the main supporters of Ter-Petrosian, became a target for political presecutions and was forced to spend nearly 1.5 years "underground".

Posting a video on Instagram, she wrote, "One day I'll tell my grandchildren about this page of Armenian history, about democracy we've created".

Political analysts say Pashinyan's election is unlikely to put an end to the political crisis, as the ruling party retains a majority in parliament and could well block his initiatives.

Pashinyan was the only candidate for prime minister. Others wore camouflage T-shirts or caps mimicking Pashinyan's signature style (though he himself was in a dark suit).


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