The former Armenian president and leader of the right-conservative Republican Party Serzh Sargsyan was elected the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. For his candidacy, which was the only one, 76 deputies voted, against – 17.
On April 9, Armenia switched to a parliamentary form of government, under which the prime minister is the de facto head of state, and the office of the president becomes symbolically representative.
The decision to nominate Sargsyan for the post of prime minister provoked mass protests in Armenia, headed by the head of the opposition-liberal bloc Elk (“Exit”) Nikol Pashinyan. The outrage of the protesters was caused by the fact that Sargsyan promised not to return to politics after ten years as president of the republic.
A few hours before the Pashinyan parliamentary vote, he announced the beginning of a series of strikes and the closure of interstate roads in major Armenian cities, which he called a “velvet, people’s and peaceful revolution.”
In Gyumri, thousands of people took to the streets, in Ijevan mass strike, Ijevan-Yerevan highway was closed, Vanadzor mass strike, in Yerevan strike and blocked streets, in Kapan and Matsamor – strikes.
Sargsyan criticized the protests led by Elcom and said that the occupation of state buildings can not be considered a peaceful action. He added that the Armenian society should not “pick out extinct volcanoes”, and present discontent would take millions of people to the streets.
People still do not understand that there will not be more power for one person. There will be the power of political forces. There will be no third term of power of Serzh Sargsyan. There will be the first term of power of the Republican Party of Armenia.