Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

Armenia Parliament Voted Pashinyan as PM

Armenia's parliament is set to vote for a new prime minister for the second time in two weeks on May 8, with protest leader Nikol Pashinian saying he is "95 percent sure" he will be elected.

Armenia's parliament has opened a session to elect a main minister, for which opposition lawmaker and protest chief Nikol Pashinian is the one nominee.

As many as 59 MPs voted for him and 42 voted against.

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.

The situation in Armenia has been tense since April 13, when protests led by Pashinyan began in Armenia.

"The Republican Party has made the political decision to support the candidate nominated ... for the sake of stability in our country", said Vahram Bagdasaryan, the head of the Republicans' faction in parliament, in a speech before the vote.

"I am 95 percent sure that your candidate will be elected as prime minister tomorrow", Pashinan told the cheering crowd. Pashinyan also promised that there would be no persecution in the country for political and economic reasons.

Analyst Vigen Akopyan said snap elections are certain even if Pashinyan is chosen prime minister.

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The party that holds the majority of seats in Armenia's parliament says it now considers itself the opposition and won't cooperate with the new government.

Pashinyan said the protest movement empowered ordinary Armenians, showing them they could determine the future of their country.

"There will be no privileged people in Armenia".

He has publicly fallen out with other opposition leaders such as the former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

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

Pashinian went into hiding following the deadly suppression on March 1-2, 2008 of post-election protests in Yerevan. "And for me, my goal isn't to become prime minister".

A year later Pashinian was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of Ter-Petrosian's Armenian National Congress (HAK). He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2010 but was released the following year under an amnesty.

After the plebiscite, thousands of opposition supporters rallied against alleged mass violations at polling stations.

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