Monday, 23 July, 2018

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

Armenia’s ‘Revolutionary Granny Leila “We’re Headed for a Better Day” Armenia’s ‘Revolutionary Granny Leila “We’re Headed for a Better Day”
Leonard Rios | 09 May, 2018, 01:04

In light of the recent national democratic movement in Armenia, which led to the election of Nikol Pashinyan as the country's prime minister on May 8, the organizers have added a closing plenary on Saturday, May 12, from 6 to 7 p.m.in Pupin Hall. Before April, the ruling Republican Party's stranglehold on Armenian politics had appeared intact, with Mr Sargsyan newly installed as prime minister after term limits forced him to step down as president after 10 years.

The HHK's parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian, made clear just before the vote that his party still has serious doubts about Pashinian's ability to govern Armenia but will nonetheless help him become prime minister in order to restore "political stability" in the country.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Armenian parliament endorsed Pashinyan as the head of government.

The majority (59) of the MPs voted for him, 42 voted against. Attempting to drum up support in villages, Pashinyan camped in tents along the way, attracting followers and growing a salt-and-pepper beard that he still sports. "You won today", he told the jubilant crowd chanting "Nikol!" and "Victory!"

Moscow, which has a military base in Armenia, is wary of an uncontrolled change of power which would pull the country out of its orbit, but Pashinyan has offered assurances that he will not break with the Kremlin.

"Russian officials have insisted that they respect Armenians' right to peaceful change", he said. That result sent Pashinyan's supporters out onto the streets again and Republicans quickly capitulated, announcing that they would not block Pashinyan's election in the next vote.

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In his turn, Pashinyan showed no inclination to back off on his ambitious agenda to remake the country, and no indication that he wanted or expected any cooperation from the Republicans.

The signing of the order is a formality required by the Consitution whereby the president appoints the elected Prime Minister.

There are 4 factions in the Armenian parliament.

In his final speech the RA Prime Minister's nominee Nikol Pashinyan thanked the ARF, Yelq, Tsarukyan and RPA factions for their expressed positions. He returned to Yerevan on foot on April 13 after walking more than 200 kilometers through the country's northern and central regions in an effort to drum up popular support for his cause.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday swiftly congratulated Pashinyan on becoming Armenia's prime minister and said he expects Russian-Armenian ties to grow even closer. "In Armenia, the page of political and economic persecution has been closed", he said.

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