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Armenia elects protest leader as prime minister

09 May 2018

They included 13 lawmakers representing Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).

The HHK's parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian, made clear just before the vote that his party still has serious doubts about Pashinian's ability to govern Armenia but will nonetheless help him become prime minister in order to restore "political stability" in the country.

On 1 May, a parliament dominated by the ruling Republican party rejected Mr Pashinyan as prime minister, even though he was the only candidate.

He is now looking ahead to the plan the new prime minister will present to parliament, but also hopes the protesting will continue.

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However, the HHK-dominated parliament quickly appointed him as prime minister, a switch made possible by constitutional changes that weakened the presidency while bolstering the prime minister's powers.

Under Armenia's constitution, if a prime minister is not elected in the second vote, parliament will be dissolved and early general elections would be held with the HHK-led acting government in charge of the electoral process.

Later, Pashinyan brought together his ties with the Armenian National Congress and organized his own small and rather marginalized political party "Civil Agreement" which entered Parliament in a political alliance with the "Republic Party of Armenia" lead by former PM Aram Sargsyan and "Bright Armenia" party, making up 8% in Parliament. "God willing, you will dispel the lingering concerns of the HHK faction", said Baghdasarian".

Nikol Pashinyan was a famous journalist in Armenia Editor-in-Chief of opposition newspaper "Haykakan Jamanak" (Armenian Times).

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Russian Federation has strong strategic interests in Armenia, including a military base, and had been watching the country's political turmoil closely.

Sargsyan resigned the premiership six days after his appointment. There will be no people enjoying privileges in Armenia. "Jobs will appear, people will return, corruption will disappear", said demonstrator Tigran Azizian, a 42-year-old city subway worker. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said.

Pashinian declined to shed light on the composition of his cabinet when he spoke to reporters moments after being elected prime minister.

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Armenia elects protest leader as prime minister