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Karen Karapetyan congratulates Nikol Pashinyan, resigns as Acting Deputy PM

09 May, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Change of power in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh settlement

The Parliament of Armenia has elected an opposition leader Nikol Pashinian a Prime Minister of the country.

Thousands of supporters gathered to celebrate in the capital of Yerevan as Pashinyan won the vote 59 to 42, according to the BBC. Mr Pashinyan, who had been detained and then released from jail during the protests, called for snap elections to choose a new "people's prime minister".

In a referendum in 2015, Armenia adopted constitutional changes to move the powers from the president to the prime minister.

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.

Pashinyan set up the Civil Contract party, which entered parliament in 2017 as part of the opposition coalition. Later, he joined the protest movement lead by the First President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan (1991-1998), who was again nominated as presidential candidate in 2007, so challenging Serzh Sargsyan during the presidential elections.




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".

At the tense, eight-hour session the week before, Republicans peppered Pashinyan with questions about his commitment to Armenia's ties with Russian Federation, the country's traditional family values, and economic growth. There will be no people enjoying privileges in Armenia. Bagdasaryan said today that they were voting for Pashinyan in spite of the fact that they were not reassured.

"People are waiting for a miracle, but the risk of disappointment is very great - the lack of a program and of a team make Pashinian very vulnerable", analyst Vigen Akopian said. "The victory is that you chose who would be prime minister". The Prime Minister stressed that his first step in this post can be a trip to Karabakh.

Pashinian, is a former journalist who edited Armenia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Haykakan Zhamanak", from 1999-2012. However, after six days in power, he was ousted amid mass protests on April 23.

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

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