Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

Velvet Revolution

Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

The opposition leader became Prime Minister.

Though this vote lacked the drama of the previous week's - when the Republicans did not tip their hand about whether or not they would vote for Pashinyan - the ruling party nevertheless signaled that it did not intend to give up the fight. "This process should continue, in line with the wishes of the Armenian people", Jagland said.

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. 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. "I invested the maximum of my powers in my job".

Pashinyan set up the Civil Contract party, which entered parliament in 2017 as part of the opposition coalition.

Stung by the protests, Sargsyan stepped down. The Republican Party (HHK) faction, the ruling party of Armenia, has 58 seats in the 105-seat unicameral parliament of Armenia - known as the National Assembly. On both occasions, Pashinyan was the only candidate. "It is coming from the Armenian streets, from the ordinary citizens". "We started the velvet revolution without weapons and blood", she told CNN.

Pashinyan only called an end to the rallies after the Republicans said they would back his candidacy.

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During a debate in Parliament, Pashinyan said that he is ready to carry on with Baku talks on Karabakh.

"My first work after my election will be ensuring a normal life in the country", Pashinyan said ahead of the vote. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said. Others wore camouflage T-shirts or caps mimicking Pashinyan's signature style (though he himself was in a dark suit).

"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.

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.

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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