Armenian capital celebrates new PM

Nikol Pashinyan adressing the National Assembly of Armenia prior to today’s vote

Now he has persuaded a parliament dominated by Mr Sargsyan's own party to back him as prime minister, only a week after he lost an initial vote. A "drastic" change in Armenia foreign policy would only hurt the country, he said. Pashinyan also promised that there would be no persecution in the country for political and economic reasons.

Pashinian repeated his call for supporters to gather on Republic Square at 11:00 a.m. local time on May 8 to ensure parliamentary leaders follow through on their promises to elect him and to afterwards celebrate "an epochal victory".

The signing of the order is a formality required by the Consitution whereby the president appoints the elected Prime Minister.

In a referendum in 2015, Armenia adopted constitutional changes to move the powers from the president to the prime minister.

Pashinyan has become hugely popular among Armenians after spearheading weeks of mass protests against the ruling party.

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". "Jobs will appear, people will return, corruption will disappear", said demonstrator Tigran Azizian, a 42-year-old worker in the city's subway. Pashinyan has insisted he wants to maintain relations with both Russian Federation and the West, in particular the European Union, and balancing the two will be key to his tenure going forward.

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Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan addresses lawmakers during a parliament session to elect a new prime minister in Yerevan on Tuesday.

"I would like to wish you that you form the government as soon as possible and engage in the solution of all the issues which face our state, government, entire people and this country - the Republic of Armenia".

He first ran for the parliament in 2007 as the top candidate of an opposition group that challenged then President Robert Kocharian.

The road ahead will be tough not least because Pashinyan will be stuck with the recalcitrant Republican Party majority indefinitely.

Sargsyan resigned after 10-days of demonstrations by protesters who took to the streets of the capital, Yerevan, accusing him of corruption and authoritarian rule.

He has said he has no intention to cling to power but he will first have to persuade the same parliament to approve his cabinet.

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