Friday, 22 June, 2018

Armenia parliament picks opposition leader as PM

Armenia’s opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan Artyom Geodakyan TASS
Charlie Simmons | 09 May, 2018, 00:52

Pashinian further reaffirmed his plans to push for fresh parliamentary elections.

"What is this? Initial naiveté, ignorance of the subject, the bravado of the victor or maybe all of these together?"

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". "You can absolutely compare him with historical figures like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela", said Eduard Aghajanyan, a city council member from Mr Pashinyan's Civil Contract party, and one of Mr Pashinyan's young, western-educated advisers.

Armenia's parliament has election opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian because the nation's new prime minister.

Although numerous party's deputies voted for Nikol Pashinian in a move to overcome the country's political turmoil, Ashotyan said: "We do not consider it expedient to cooperate with the new government; it would be hypocritical to consider the issue of our participation in the new government". "The page of hatred should be turned", he said, adding: "May God help us".

"My first work after my election will be ensuring a normal life in the country", Pashinyan said ahead of the vote.

Vahram Baghdasaryan, head of the Republican Party in parliament, said for the sake of unity it was backing Pashinyan for prime minister but it had concerns about his fitness to run the country.

Karapetyan was appointed prime minister in September 2016, after the resignation of Hovik Abrahamyan. Fighting periodically breaks out between those forces and Azerbaijani troops stationed on the other side of a demilitarized zone.

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During a debate in Parliament, Pashinyan said that he is ready to carry on with Baku talks on Karabakh.

Both Azerbaijan and Turkey have closed their borders with Armenia over the conflict, inhibiting trade and leaving Armenia in semi-isolation.

The prime minister is to receive all powers while President Armen Sargsyan who was elected by the parliament on March 2 is to perform representative functions. However, the HHK said it will not block the election and will support it. "There will be no people with privileged rights in Armenia, everyone will be equal before the law", he stressed.

"Military cooperation with Russian Federation is an important factor in ensuring our country's security", Pashinyan said, referring to a two-decade long conflict his country is locked in with neighbouring Azerbaijan.

In the event of the parliament's rejection of the action plan, the elected PM resigns and new elections of PM take place.

Exactly a month ago, Nikol Pashinyan was walking from village to village across Armenia in a desperate protest against a power grab by the country's prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan.

Pashinian spearheaded weeks of big protests that have been energetic however largely peaceable. The previous Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned amid mass demonstrations of opposition supporters.

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