Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Armenian opposition leader elected prime minister

Armenian opposition leader elected prime minister

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

Exactly a month ago, Nikol Pashinyan was walking from village to village across Armenia in a desperate protest against a power grab by the country's prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan. Pashinyan was the only candidate, but members of the ruling Republican party did not vote for the opposition.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian faces an array of challenges, including a parliament dominated by the party he denounced as corrupt and how to resolve the volatile question of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan under the control of ethnic Armenian forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Armenian protest leader on his election as the country's new prime minister.

The first vote in Parliament took place on 1 may. The protests were initially limited to opposing former president Serzh Sargsyan's appointment as prime minister, but their demands later expanded to include a new government from outside the ruling Republican Party, and new elections to be held under a new electoral code. "God willing, you will dispel the lingering concerns of the HHK faction", said Baghdasarian".

The majority of deputies of the National Assembly supported Pashinyan. "There will be no privileged people in Armenia, period!"

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Nikol Pashinyan promises to end corruption and election-rigging.

"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. "And for me, my goal isn't to become prime minister".

Pashinian, is a former journalist who edited Armenia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Haykakan Zhamanak", from 1999-2012.

"The victory is not that I was elected prime minister", Pashinyan told the crowd.

Pending fresh elections "Pashinyan must manoeuvre between the will of the people and the parliamentary ruling party that he does not belong to and which can not begin supporting him", he said.

Yet faced with weeks of mass protests, Sargsyan left the premiership on April 23, six days after his election. He first ran for the parliament in 2007 as the top candidate of an opposition group that challenged then President Robert Kocharian.

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