He Was a Protester. Now, Nikol Pashinyan Is Armenia's Prime Minister

Armenia’s opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan

The man who spearheaded weeks of protests in Armenia was chosen Tuesday to be the country's new prime minister, and carries the weight of high hopes for a turnaround in the impoverished former Soviet republic.

The party that holds the majority of seats in Armenia's parliament says it now considers itself the opposition and won't cooperate with the new government.

President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian has signed an order on May 8 appointing Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister, the president's office said.

Pashinyan secured a relevant number of votes necessary for getting the job after 59 Armenian lawmakers voted to grant him the PM's powers. Karen Karapetyan, acting premier, resigned on Tuesday after election of Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, Karapetyan reports on his Facebook page.

However, Armenia has changed its government structure, giving the prime minister more power than the presidency.

OSCE observers noted that the previous parliamentary elections, in 2017, were "tainted by credible information about vote-buying, and pressure on civil servants and employees of private companies". "God willing, you will dispel the lingering concerns of the HHK faction", said Baghdasarian".

Supporters brought the country to a halt, joking that it was a measure of Mr. Pashinyan's influence that he could make Armenians do things on time.

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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.

"There will be no privileged people in Armenia". "People want to protest now against the mayor of Yerevan", he said.

Nikol Pashinyan promises to end corruption and election-rigging.

At a concert in the city Monday night, Pashinyan had appeared alongside System of a Down front man Serj Tankian, who gave his support to the former journalist and was also present in parliament for the vote on Tuesday.

"The victory is not that I was elected prime minister", Pashinyan told the crowd. The prime minister is now the head of government, and controls the army, police, National Security Service and the Security Council.

Yet faced with weeks of mass protests, Sargsyan left the premiership on April 23, six days after his election.

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.

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