Revolution sweeps Armenian opposition leader into powerRevolutionary 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.
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.
According to Reuters, thousands of supporters gathered in the capital Yerevan as he addressed parliament on Tuesday. Pashinyan, who led the peaceful "Velvet Revolution", promised MPs that human rights would be protected, and that corruption and election-rigging would end.
Moscow, which has a military base in Armenia, is wary of an uncontrolled change of power which would pull the country out of its orbit, but Pashinyan has offered assurances that he will not break with the Kremlin.
The election of Pashinyan, a former newspaper editor who spent time in prison for fomenting unrest, marks a dramatic rupture with the cadre of rulers who have run Armenia since the late 1990s.
Pashinyan, born in 1975, spearheaded a protest movement that first forced veteran leader Serzh Sarksyan to step down as prime minister and then pressured the ruling party to abandon attempts to block his election as prime minister, the country’s most powerful post.
In a vote in parliament on Tuesday, 59 lawmakers backed Pashinyan’s candidacy, including some from the ruling Republican Party, with 42 voting against.