Nikol Pashinian Elected Prime Minister of Armenian

Nikol Pashinian Elected Prime Minister of Armenian

Armenia's opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has been elected as the new prime minister two weeks after Serzh Sargsyan resigned following widespread anti-government demonstrations. Nearly all MPs from the Republican Party of Armenia voted against appointing the leader of the Velvet Revolution as the head of the government.

The Armenian opposition leader who is almost certain to become the country's prime minister says he will not seek political revenge in the wake of the past month of tensions.

Thirteen members of Sargsyan's ruling Republican Party - which still holds a majority in parliament - voted for Pashinyan, just barely more than needed to push him over the threshold.

Sarkisian, who served as Armenia's president from 2008-2018, stepped down as prime minister on April 23.

Parliament met again on Tuesday to choose a leader, and this time Mr. Pashinyan prevailed.

Within an hour of the vote, Pashinyan traveled to Republic Square in central Yerevan to greet his supporters, who waved Armenian flags and balloons as a rock band performed live music.

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Supporters of Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan attend a rally in downtown Yerevan. Pashinyan also promised that there would be no persecution in the country for political and economic reasons.

Pashinyan's victory amounts to a peaceful revolution in Armenia, a small nation of around 3 million people squeezed between Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. "That's it. Full stop", the newly elected prime minister said, reaffirming support for human rights protections and an end to corruption. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said.

"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.

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

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.

Thousands took to the streets in protest, driving Sargsyan to step down 11 days later.

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