On April 17, the National Assembly elections of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia started. Serzh Sargsyan became the prime minister. 77 National Assembly deputies voted for, 15 voted against.
At about 12:10, during the rally in the French Square, Nikol Pashinyan announced that he is now starting a velvet revolution and they must block public institutions. During the rally, the crowd of protesters stretched from the French Square to Amiryan Street.
Some related links:
- Protests Against Serzh Sargsyan.
- Read the brief article Armenian “Velvet” Revolution.
- Read the detailed article Velvet Revolution of Armenia.
- Pashinyan – Karapetyan Meeting (did not take place)
Earlier, Nikol Pashinyan stated during a press conference:
I will become the prime minister, if the nation puts that responsibility on me.
Also, as another reminder, acccording to Pashinyan the following is the second step after Serzh Sargsyan resigned:
“The National Assembly must elect a candidate for the prime minister chosen by the nation and this should take place within the next week. After which there will be a temporary government. Then, snap parliamentary elections should take place as soon as possible.”
So far, the Armenian nation’s only candidate for the post of the Prime Minister is no other than Nikol Pashinyan. However, during May 1 elections, which took about 10 hours, he didn’t get enough votes. So, the civil disobedience continued.
With enough deputies ready to nominate Nikol Pashinyan for the PM post, the second elections took place. This time again, he was the only candidate.
Before talking about the elections which took place on May 8, let’s go back for several days.
Important Events Prior To May 8 Elections
Will Eduard Sharmazanov vote for Pashinyan during the upcoming elections?
During an interview with Azatutyun, he answered this question as follows:
There is a faction announcement, which states that they will support the candidate nominated by one third of the parliament of the Republic of Armenia. Support means they will ensure that the PM candidate has 53 votes or more so that he becomes the prime minister. Does this mean that everyone should vote in the united party?
I do not think so… I think the essential part is that we do not go to the deepening and confrontation of the political crisis. On May 8, the Republican faction, maybe even with his political views, vision, and also by not seeing Pashinyan as prime minister and supreme commander-in-chief, will not become an obstacle. Moreover, it will also support with its votes. We have 45 votes to ensure that we have the PM.
Pashinyan has also stated:
I can assure that there will not be any oligarch in the government.
Serzh Tankian‘s speech:
For many years, the world has known us by genocide, by the earthquake and war. But now with this movement you have raised the rating of our entire Armenian nation. Like you, I dreamed of this day for years, and I am fully proud of standing beside you.
May 8 Elections: The New Prime Minister
During the special session of the National Assembly 42 deputies voted against and 59 deputies voted for Pashinyan. Later, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan signed a decree on appointing Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister.
Consequently, Pashinyan officially became the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
In response to Azatutyun Radiostation’s question whether he was ready to include in the government the opposition Republican Party members, Pashinyan replied:
We will do discussions … If we say solidarity, it can not be just a slogan, but be something else in practice. We, of course, will work in that direction.
He did not name any specific candidates.
There are many candidates because there are many politicians and professionals in Armenia who must be involved in the governance of the country.
He said there would be changes in the government, including the Minister of Defense.
The first important step, of course, is the launch of reforms in the electoral system. We will definitely take measures in that direction. But the first thing I am going to do today is to hear the report of the Armed Forces and representatives of the National Security Authorities on the security environment of our country.
To the question, which power will be reduced, the newly-elected prime minister responded: – “I have already said that there should not be a supreme prime minister system.
This is how the nation responded to the long waited moment:
What reforms will take place in the country?
Referring to foreign political priorities, Pashinyan announced that after the election of the prime minister, the pivot of Armenia’s foreign policy will be the collective interest of the nation. Accordingly, relations will develop with Georgia and Iran, Russia and the European Union, the United States, China and India.
Armenia will enter into an agreement with the European Union and will continue to be a member of the YAP and CSTO. “We consider military cooperation with Russia as an important factor of Armenia’s security system. One of our priorities is the deepening of relations with European countries and the European Union. ”
He stated that in the conditions of equality before the law, there must also be an economic revolution. He called on Diaspora businessmen to come and make investments in Armenia.
Also, he called on Armenian businessmen to work by law, properly paying taxes. – “Be sure that the money you pay to the country will not be robbed but will serve to the interests of our nation and state.”
According to him, the introduction of a model of economic development will truly change people’s lives. It will dramatically increase the growth of the budget, which will enable the increase of salaries and pensions.
Nikol Pashinyan will assign three priorities for economic development. The spheres of information technologies, agriculture and tourism should be developed at revolutionary rates. New goverment will revise the farmers’ heavy loan obligations. The logic of fining citizens in different fields should change. – “The Republic of Armenia must become a state that cooperates with its citizen, rather than pursuing them, and being a punitive state.
Reforms will take place “without vendettas” – “All people are equal before the law, there will be no privileges in Armenia. The election results will no longer be rigged. There will be no election bribes. No artificial economic monopolies, everyone will be able to deal with his preferred business. Human rights will be protected.
The government will not be a means of earning money, there will no longer be corruption in the country and that’s it. There will be a supremacy of laws and rights. Let no one ever doubt that our government will make crucial changes in this period.
At the same time, I should emphasize again that we will solve these problems without vendettas. With no redistribution of property, strictly adhering to the law, the rights and interests of all citizens. The page of political and economic repression no longer exists. The law will be equal and shall act in the same way both with the political allies and friends, and with political opponents and critics. This is the main and most important message of the Armenian Revolution, which we must adhere to and endure.”
Education should be non-partisan. There should be erious reforms should in health care, social security. We must end the practice of leaving the social burden of our soldiers on their parents. It is also unacceptable that the information about the death of a soldier in by the enemy or in a peaceful manner becomes common in the newsletters. – “Every citizen of Armenia should be convinced that the Republic of Armenia is doing its best and the impossible to save every soldier’s life, health and security”.
He also added. “We put all our hopes on the professionals in the public administration system who have come to their positions thanks to their talent and diligence.”
And this is not all!
Pashinyan says the most important of all changes is the reform of the electoral system in order to hold free, fair and transparent elections. “This is a priority for us, because we remain sure that Armenia’s processes started moving in the wrong direction, whenever the country began to use the practice of election results faking, hindering voters’ free expression of will.
We need to provide a moral, legal and technical environment to avoid any such manipulation in the future.”
There should no longer be prisoners for political reasons in Armenia. “I want to assure you that the history of the Third Republic, many issues of the past will definitely have their answers in the near future. But all this that will take place will not be moved by hatred, hostility, harassment, but by the public dialogues, the search for truth, reconciliation and national unity in the atmosphere.
The government will also make efforts to ensure that the prisoners that are in jail for their political activities are released as early as possible. And we will eventually be released from the shameful stigma of a political prisoner. ”
“Hatred and its preaching no longer have a place in the new Armenia. There is no doubt that a new and glorious page has been opened for the history of Armenia. There will be no going back to the past. Our country has no place for despair and impasse. Our country is standing firm on its feet, with its open front and firm backbone, “Nikol Pashinyan concluded his speech at the National Assembly.
PRESIDENT ARMEN SARGSYAN’S SPEECH
We should be proud of today’s Armenia. We have been able to do something that no other country or state has been able to do in the last few decades. That is, to do a revolution, call it velvet, or some color, for me it is an Armenian revolution or a revolution in the Armenian way, where people revolutionize without a conflict, with flowers, smiles, joy and balloons.
Nikol Pashinyan is a talented person. I have a lot of practical and respectful relationships with him. I have and will have my contribution to make the government succeed, otherwise the movement is meaningless. Otherwise, all the hopes that the people have for the future will be meaningless. So, I hope tomorrow will be better and the government will justify itself.
The first sitting of the Government with Nikol Pashinyan as the Prime Minister
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you all. The government has gathered for the last time in such a composition. I wish you all success. I wish good luck to the newly forming government.
At the end of the day, it became known that Nikol Pashinyan appointed his party members in a number of positions: Ararat Mirzoyan First Deputy Prime Minister, Tigran Avinyan Deputy Prime Minister. Ex-Minister of Emergency Situations Davit Tonoyan Defense, Arayik Harutyunyan – Education and Science, Mkhitar Hayrapetyan Diaspora, Suren Papikyan Minister of Territorial Administration and Development.
The newly appointed Chief of Police Valeri Osipyan announced after the government session that he agreed to take the position to show that the police are really standing next to the people. Osipian is ready to take the responsibility for his colleagues.
Minister of Transport Vahan Martirosyan said he did not want the post. Meanwhile, Minister of Health Levon Altunyan is waiting for the offer.
Mayor Taron Margaryan arrived at the cabinet meeting. In addition, people have been demanding his resignation as well. The mayor however did not intend to follow the example of his party leader Serzh Sargsyan.