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Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

May 8, 2018-Revolutionary opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was elected Armenia's prime minister on Tuesday, capping a peaceful revolution driven by weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism in the ex-Soviet republic.

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

On the same day, the Armenian parliament voted for Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister. 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 Armenian parliament voted 59-42 Tuesday to elect Pashinian, who headed weeks of huge protests. It was also fueled by anger over alleged corruption within Republican Party elite ruling the country since the 1990s.

Analyst Vigen Akopyan said snap elections looked certain.

Pashinyan, who was one of the main supporters of Ter-Petrosian, became a target for political presecutions and was forced to spend nearly 1.5 years "underground".

She said she hopes Pashinyan will "clean the system" and "protect the people's interests", adding: "There is no need to keep protesting; now we're just going to celebrate".

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Pashinyan's victory amounts to a peaceful revolution in Armenia, a small nation of around 3 million people squeezed between Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

As required by the Constitution, a new government must be formed within 15 days after electing a Prime Minister.

Sporting a salt and pepper beard, a tan and a baseball cap, Armenia's rising political star channelled widespread desire for change into a broad protest movement. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said.

Pashinian, is a former journalist who edited Armenia's best-selling daily newspaper, "Haykakan Zhamanak", from 1999-2012. The prime minister is now the head of government, and controls the army, police, National Security Service and the Security Council.

As EADaily reported earlier, Serzh Sargsyan resigned on April 23 amidst protest actions against his election.

Both Bright Armenia and Republic refused to support Pashinian when he embarked on his campaign aimed at preventing Sarkisian from becoming prime minister and thus extending his decade-long rule.