On May 8, the leader of Armenian opposition Nikol Pashinyan was elected as Armenian Prime Minister, the state-run news agency Armenia News reported. Pashinyan was elected by a vote of 59 for and 42 against at the National Assembly (NA) special session.
Later Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signed an executive order appointing Pashinyan as Prime Minister. During the meeting between Sarkissian and Pashinyan, President stated:
“I want to wish that you form the government as soon as possible and get to solving all the problems facing our state, government, entire people, and this country: the Republic of Armenia. My best wishes to you, and good luck!”
Pashinyan stressed that there would be discussions on the matter of the government’s manpower and changes would take place:
“There are numerous professionals in the country, and who, as I mentioned in my speech, should be engaged in the governance of the country,” Pashinyan said. “There will be substantial changes in the makeup of the government.”
The move caused no tensions on the international scene.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland pointed out the further cooperation between Armenia and the Council of Europe:
“The Council of Europe is ready to provide any further assistance to the Armenian authorities in this very important process based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin also congratulated Pashinyan:
“I hope that your performance as the head of government will contribute to efforts to further strengthen friendly, allied relations between our countries, partnership within the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.”
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Maria Mogherini and Commissioner for European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn stressed in a statement that EU looks forward to working with new Armenian Prime Minister:
“The European Union looks forward to working with him and his government on the implementation of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement signed last November, with a view to further consolidating democracy, the rule of law and respect of human rights, and to creating a prosperous and resilient country for the benefit of all citizens of Armenia.
To achieve these important goals, a comprehensive dialogue among all political stakeholders in Armenia, including civil society, remains crucial.”
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed the support to Armenia’s new Prime Minister:
Congratulations to the newly elected Prime Minister of #Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. #Georgia firmly supports and stands by brotherly #Armenia. I believe strong ties and friendship between our countries will further deepen.
— Giorgi Kvirikashvili (@KvirikashviliGi) May 8, 2018
On April 23, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned amid anti-government protests. The opposition demanded to carry out parliamentary election. On May 1, the National Assembly (NA) did not elect Prime Minister as the rulling RPA party didn’t support the only candidate Nikol Pashinyan (opposition’s leader). On May 3, Nikol Pashinyan was renominated as a prime minister candidate with the signature of 41 deputies. RPA supported the election of Prime Minister.