Pashinyan elected Armenia's prime minister

Change of power in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh settlement

Armenia's opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has been elected as the new prime minister two weeks after Serzh Sargsyan resigned following widespread anti-government demonstrations.

Pashinyan said he would hold a snap election as soon as he believes the conditions are right for a vote to take place.

To be elected, a candidate must garner at least 53 votes.

Armenia's newly elected prime minister has promised sweeping changes to the thousands of protesters who rallied around his bid to unseat the country's entrenched political elite.

Two other factions in addition to Pashinyan's Yelk have endorsed the opposition leader's candidacy - the ARF and the Tsarukyan.

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Pashinian declined to shed light on the composition of his cabinet when he spoke to reporters moments after being elected prime minister.

Mr Pashinyan has however shown a deft political touch over the past month, running a gauntlet of thorny political questions including whether Armenia should maintain close ties with Russian Federation and whether there should be a purge of former ruling party officials and a criminal trial into the deaths of protesters in 2008.

That led to a crippling general strike in the capital Yerevan and other cities.

Pashinyan said the protest movement empowered ordinary Armenians, showing them they could determine the future of their country.

"I am very happy because this is a movement for the people, Armenians have come together and learned to love one another", said Anna Maritosyan, a social worker who was among the celebrants.

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Today, Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan applied to President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian with the request to terminate his duties as Acting First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. "And for me, my goal isn't to become prime minister".

He went into hiding but surrendered in 2009.

A year later Pashinian was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of Ter-Petrosian's Armenian National Congress (HAK).

With his fiery rhetoric and penchant for asking awkward questions, Pashinyan quickly became a thorn in the side of the ruling party. He returned to Yerevan on foot on April 13 after walking more than 200 kilometers through the country's northern and central regions in an effort to drum up popular support for his cause.

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