Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Revolution sweeps Armenia opposition leader into power

Armenia’s opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan Artyom Geodakyan TASS
| 09 May, 2018, 01:06

He later called off the demonstrations after the ruling party assured him of its support in his bid for prime minister. A "drastic" change in Armenia foreign policy would only hurt the country, he said. Pashinyan didn't have enough votes to win the seat because Sargsyan's party still holds a majority in parliament.

At first, his quest to overthrow the government whose leaders have ruled Armenia since the 1990s felt quixotic.

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajieyv issued a statement insisting "the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is now occupied, has always been an integral part of Azerbaijan".

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.

Throughout Armenia's wave of protests, Moscow has remained publicly neutral, and Pashinyan has consistently said he viewed Moscow as a vital ally. He was nominated y the ruling Republican Party.

Armenia's governing Republican Party will provide the additional votes needed to elect a prime minister during a parliamentary vote on Tuesday, a Republican Party lawmaker told Reuters. Pashinian has vowed to have good relations with both Russian Federation and the West. "I am sure that in a very short period of time you will realize that your insulting criticisms of the past were wrong", he said.


Armenia is a country of about three million people nestled in mountains between Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan reaffirmed his commitment to "strategic allied relations with Russia" when he again addressed fellow lawmakers just before Tuesday's parliament vote.

Later, Pashinyan brought together his ties with the Armenian National Congress and organized his own small and rather marginalized political party "Civil Agreement" which entered Parliament in a political alliance with the "Republic Party of Armenia" lead by former PM Aram Sargsyan and "Bright Armenia" party, making up 8% in Parliament.

Yet faced with weeks of mass protests, Sargsyan left the premiership on April 23, six days after his election.

Pashinian, in a speech to parliament before his election Tuesday, said his revolution will lead to the "recognition of realizing the rights of Karabakh to self-determination".

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