President Sarkissian meets with newly elected PM Pashinyan

President Sarkissian meets with newly elected PM Pashinyan

To become prime minister, Pashinyan needed a simple majority - 53 of the 105 votes. Charismatic and fiery, Pashinyan had convinced some lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party to cross party lines and vote for him - something unthinkable just a short while ago.

Lawmakers voted 59 to 42 to approve him as prime minister. Many Armenians saw that as a cynical ploy by Sarkisian to extend his hold on power.

Throughout Armenia's wave of protests, Moscow has remained publicly neutral, and Pashinyan has consistently said he viewed Moscow as a vital ally. He also promised to end corruption and election-rigging.

In a speech to parliament on Tuesday preceding his election as premier, Pashinian said that his "revolution will lead to the de-jure recognition of realizing the rights of Karabakh to self-determination".

Pashinyan, the MP who spearheaded massive demonstrations throughout the country for about two weeks, failed to be elected by a 56-45 vote in the first round of voting.

The EU stressed that it wants to see Armenia as a prosperous and stable country.

The uprising sent a clear message that nepotism and corruption can not prevail indefinitely, Gevorgyan said. "Even in the transition period, these problems will be solved".

Edmon Marukyan presented the viewpoint of the RA NA Yelq Faction, informing that the Faction will unreservedly support the implementation of the programmes of the government to be formed.

For his part, Pashinyan will want to wait to hold new elections until he can get a new electoral code in place to help ensure the free and fair elections he has put at the centerpiece of his overall strategy.

Mr Pashinyan, who had begun a protest march to Yerevan ahead of the president's switch to prime minster, arrived in the capital to lead daily protests. Others wore camouflage T-shirts or caps mimicking Pashinyan's signature style (though he himself was in a dark suit).

"I am 95 percent sure that your candidate will be elected as prime minister tomorrow", Pashinan told the cheering crowd.

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. A truck appeared full of snow from a mountain village, and many celebrated with a snowball fight.

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