Pashinyan Becomes Prime Minister

Armenia & Karabakh Velvet Revolution        Velvet Revolution Update

Armenia & Karabakh Velvet Revolution Velvet Revolution Update

In Tuesday's vote, some Republicans switched sides, and Pashinyan won the backing of 59 lawmakers, with 42 voting against him. A "drastic" change in Armenia foreign policy would only hurt the country, he said. Charismatic and fiery, Pashinyan had convinced some lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party to cross party lines and vote for him - something unthinkable just a short while ago.

Russian President Vladimir Putin later sent a telegram congratulating Pashinyan on his election, hoping that he will strengthen ties between the two countries, said the Kremlin according to the RIA news agency.

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, head of the Yelk (Exit) faction, was the sole candidate in the first round of elections on May 1.

Armenia's National Security Service Director Georgy Kutoyan on Tuesday briefed Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the domestic situation. After 30 years of fighting with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region both countries claim, he has said he will make the enclave part of Armenia.

"By the end of the parliamentary session Armenia will have a prime minister".

Russian Federation has strong strategic interests in Armenia, including a military base, and had been watching the country's political turmoil closely. "You can absolutely compare him with historical figures like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela", said Eduard Aghajanyan, a city council member from Mr Pashinyan's Civil Contract party, and one of Mr Pashinyan's young, western-educated advisers.

"I'm the happiest person in the world", said Shogik, a 17-year-old Pashinyan supporter.

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The RA NA Deputy Speaker Mikayel Melkumyan has presented the viewpoint of the RA NA Tsarukyan Faction on the Prime Minister's candidacy, noting that their nominee is Nikol Pashinyan, and their party is with the people.

He has said he has no intention to cling to power but he will first have to persuade the same parliament to approve his cabinet.

The road ahead will be tough not least because Pashinyan will be stuck with the recalcitrant Republican Party majority indefinitely.

On May 1, the governing party, which holds 58 out of 105 seats in Parliament, voted down his bid to become interim prime minister.

"There will be no privileged people in Armenia".

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

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