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The Armenian parliament voted to elect opposition leader Nikol Pashinian prime minister on Tuesday almost one month after he launched sustained anti-government protests that led to resignation of Armenia's longtime leader, Serzh Sarkisian.

Pashinyan secured a relevant number of votes necessary for getting the job after 59 Armenian lawmakers voted to grant him the PM's powers.

Opposition politician Nikol Pashinyan is the only nominee in the vote in parliament.

The parliamentary vote follows weeks of protests spearheaded by Pashinian that forced longtime Armenian leader Serzh Sarksyan to step down as premier last month after only six days in the position. The protests were initially limited to opposing former president Serzh Sargsyan's appointment as prime minister, but their demands later expanded to include a new government from outside the ruling Republican Party, and new elections to be held under a new electoral code.

The Republican Party, which has a majority of parliament seats, later underlined the difficulty by declaring it's now in opposition.

His creativity was visible during a parliamentary election campaign previous year, when he went into courtyards, clambered onto the roofs of garages and stood on benches to deliver speeches.

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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.

Since it emerged as an independent state after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia, a majority Christian country, has been locked in a territorial conflict with mainly-Muslim Azerbaijan, and under economic blockade from Turkey. So Mr. Pashinyan went to Yerevan's central Republic Square, the throbbing heart of the protests, where an estimated 250,000 people had gathered, and called for a nationwide strike at 8:15 the next morning.

The 42-year-old former newspaper editor also secured the support of two other major political parties - Prosperous Armenia and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) - which nominated him for the post together with his opposition Elk coalition.

During the second ballot the parliament of Armenia approved the candidacy of the new head of government.

"Russian officials have insisted that they respect Armenians' right to peaceful change", he said. He said his ministers will be chosen "as a result of discussions" with his allies and other political groups. He surrendered to law-enforcement authorities in July 2009 and was subsequently tried and sentenced to seven years in prison on charges stemming from the unrest. "And for me, my goal isn't to become prime minister". The thousands of protests in the country began on April 13.


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