Armenian Protest Leader Nominated for PM's Post at Parliamentary Session

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Nikol Pashinyan, was nominated yesterday by YELQ faction as prime-ministerial candidate.

Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinyan has called on his supporters to launch a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience, after the ruling party blocked his bid in parliament to become the country's prime minister.

In the vote taken today at the National Assembly's special session, 45 votes were cast in favor of Pashinyan, while 55 votes were cast against.

Speaking with journalists on Monday, Pashinyan said his main project as interim prime minister would be to organise new free and fair parliamentary elections for the post of prime minister.

Protesters pledged to ramp up pressure on the authorities to force the ruling Republican Party to quit power.

Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan gestures to his supporters at a rally in Yerevan, Armenia April 30, 2018.

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But Pashinyan is still six votes short of the 53 he needs from the 105-seat legislature, where the Republican Party has a majority.

Baghdasarian's announcement and the vote was assailed by angry shouts and waving fists from thousands of people who stood in central Yerevan's Republic Square throughout the day watching the parliamentary proceedings on a large screen television. He subsequently called on his supporters to pour out on the streets and assemble at the capital's Republic Square in protest.

We will remind, on April 13 and continue in Yerevan rallies demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who had already twice been President.

"They spat on us, but we're not going to tolerate this", bakery owner Samvel Rustamyan, 46, said while jeering and punching his fists in the air.

Reacting to the announcement, Pashinyan said: "With its discussions, the Republican Party has finally and irreversibly destroyed itself".

Pashinyan's protest movement had accused ex-leader Sarkisian of a power grab, saying he had failed to tackle a litany of problems like corruption, poverty and the influence of oligarchs.