Armenian Opposition Leader Expected To Be Elected PM May 8
7 May, 2018

The Armenian parliament is expected to vote in opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister tomorrow despite rejecting his candidacy last week.

Parliament failed to elect Pashinyan on May 1, with the opposition leader securing only 45 of 53 votes needed to become Prime Minister. According to the country’s constitution, when this happens, another vote needs to be held in seven days.

Richard Giragosian, director of independent think tank Regional Studies Center in Armenia, told Hromadske there has now been a shift on the ground and Pashinyan is expected to secure the number of votes needed to be become Prime Minister on Tuesday.  

Armenian news agency today also reported that the leader of the Republicans’ parliamentary faction, Vahram Baghdasaryan, has declared the party’s intention to back Pashinyan’s candidacy.

Giragosian said even the Republican party is now recognizing that Armenia has a distinctly new political reality.

“This movement is much bigger than any one individual. It represents the promise of institutional change and every political party, every day is sensing the mood and the shift and therefore is increasingly grivating towards this opposition movement,” he said.

Pashinyan swiftly rose to top choice for Prime Minister after leading nationwide protests against ousted President turned Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who transferred the country to a new parliamentary system of government during his presidency. The move has been widely touted as Sargsyan’s efforts to remain in power.

In under a month Pashinyan mobilized some 150,000 Armenians on a platform of anti-corruption and fair elections, vowing to fight the autocratic rule of the long-serving Republican party.

READ MORE: Who Is Nikol Pashinyan, The Armenian Protest Leader?

Despite significant changes already taking place on the ground, Giragosian said the difficult part lies ahead in reforming the country’s electoral process.

“What’s most significant however, is this is not yet a revolution. It was the forced resignation of an incumbent leader but a revolution implies systemic change. That is now only beginning,” he said.