Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Nikol Pashinyan becomes Prime Minister of Armenia

Armenia’s ‘Revolutionary Granny Leila “We’re Headed for a Better Day” Armenia’s ‘Revolutionary Granny Leila “We’re Headed for a Better Day”
Glenn Montgomery | 09 May, 2018, 00:52

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.

In a vote in parliament on Tuesday, 59 lawmakers backed Pashinyan's candidacy, including some from the ruling Republican Party, with 42 voting against.

Pashinyan needed at least 53 votes in the 105-seat unicameral parliament to be named Prime Minister.

Before the vote, the leader of the Republican Party, Vahram Baghdasaryan said that the Republican Party wanted to "stabilise the political situation in the country", but was still opposed to Pashinyan. 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. Pashinyan had lost the original vote on May 1 due to initial opposition from the dominant Republican Party.

His creativity was visible during a parliamentary election campaign past year, when he went into courtyards, clambered onto the roofs of garages and stood on benches to deliver speeches.

The protest movement was sparked when Sargsyan moved to the premier position early in April after he reached a term limit after 10 years as president.

Supporters say Mr Pashinyan, who was also imprisoned after opposition rallies in 2008 turned deadly, is among history's great peaceful revolutionaries.

Before the start of the protests last month, he walked some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from Gyumri - Armenia's second city - to Yerevan with his supporters, often sleeping in the open.

"Mr. Pashinian, you will be elected prime minister ..."

"Representatives of the party will not be members of the government".

Armenia is a country of about three million people nestled in mountains between Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

"Russian officials have insisted that they respect Armenians' right to peaceful change", he said. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 but was released the following year under an amnesty. 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.

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