Armenian majority party now in opposition | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

09 May, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Armenian Protest Leader Gets Second Chance At Prime Minister In Parliamentary Vote

The parliament finally managed to elect the country's prime minister due to the votes given by the RPA, as the day before the ruling party vowed to secure successful elections. To become prime minister, Pashinyan needed a simple majority - 53 of the 105 votes.

Sarkisian, who served as Armenia's president from 2008-2018, stepped down as prime minister on April 23.

Addressing the parliament before the vote, Pashinian pledged to implement "very serious reforms" that would democratize Armenia, strengthen the rule of law and radically improve the domestic business environmental.

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Mr Pashinyan has however shown a deft political touch over the past month, running a gauntlet of thorny political questions including whether Armenia should maintain close ties with Russian Federation and whether there should be a purge of former ruling party officials and a criminal trial into the deaths of protesters in 2008. The protests were initially limited to opposing former president Serzh Sargsyan's appointment as prime minister, but their demands later expanded to include a new government from outside the ruling Republican Party, and new elections to be held under a new electoral code. While the Republicans could block those, in theory, doing so would trigger snap elections in which they would certainly lose seats.

Within an hour of the vote, Pashinyan traveled to Republic Square in central Yerevan to greet his supporters, who waved Armenian flags and balloons as a rock band performed live music.

Armenian-American rock star and political activist Serj Tankian joined a pro-opposition rally in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on May 7, appearing on stage alongside opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan before leading the crowd in song. "That's it. Full stop", the newly elected prime minister said, reaffirming support for human rights protections and an end to corruption.

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"There will be no privileged people in Armenia".

The protests which brought the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan were the biggest in Armenia since the Declaration of Independence in 1991 and started as sudden movement, unxpected by both experts and the political opposition. "Many people will want to see a country that has carried out this revolution of love and solidarity", he said.

It has been an unlikely rise to power in the post-Soviet republic of about three million for the former newspaper editor. The prime minister is now the head of government, and controls the army, police, National Security Service and the Security Council.

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