Armenian Protest Leader Gets Second Chance At Prime Minister In Parliamentary Vote

Change of power in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh settlement

To become prime minister, Pashinyan needed a simple majority - 53 of the 105 votes.

"The Armenian revolution's tool kit is something that many opposition groups in former Soviet states will be studying", said Lilit Gevorgyan, senior economist for Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union for IHS Markit.

Two weeks ago, veteran leader Serzh Sargsyan, who had served the maximum two terms as President of Armenia, was appointed prime minister.

In one of his first moves after parliament elected him as prime minister, Pashinian announced he would visit Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday.

There are 4 factions in the Armenian parliament.

Protesters accused Sargsyan of attempting a power grab under a new parliamentary system of government passed in a 2015 referendum that the opposition says was tainted by irregularities.

In his final speech the RA Prime Minister's nominee Nikol Pashinyan thanked the ARF, Yelq, Tsarukyan and RPA factions for their expressed positions.

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Upon hearing the news, a crowd of around 100,000 in the main square of the capital, Yerevan, burst into cheers, Armenian news outlet CivilNet showed on its live feed.

Shortly after he was named prime minister Tuesday, Nikol Pashinian said he would make a trip to the region of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces for more than two decades. "You won today", he told the jubilant crowd chanting "Nikol!" and "Victory!"

He has publicly fallen out with other opposition leaders such as the former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan. The vote marred by reports of serious fraud formalized the handover of power from Kocharian to Serzh Sarkisian.

Pashinyan went into hiding following the deadly suppression on March 1-2, 2008 of post-election protests in Yerevan. He surrendered to law-enforcement authorities in July 2009 and was subsequently tried and sentenced to seven years in prison on charges stemming from the unrest.

Capping weeks of nationwide strikes, protests and carnivalesque street parties, parliament voted 59 to 42 in favor of Pashinyan.

Events in the small south Caucuses state have been closely watched in Moscow, an ally of Armenia.

Pashinyan lead the Parliamentary Minority for a year before becoming PM of Armenia. "In Armenia, the page of political and economic persecution has been closed", he said.

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