Parliament vote falls short for Armenia's protest leader


With the current development of events, they will be held according to the old electoral code, which presupposes a vote on both national and territorial lists of candidates for deputies of political parties and their blocs.

During his speech in parliament prior to the vote, Republican Party faction leader Vahram Baghdasaryan announced that the Republican Party would not be voting for Pashinyan.

Speaking to his supporters in the early hours of Tuesday, Pashinyan said that the ruling party planned to derail the vote and urged hundreds of thousands to take to the streets.

Organizer of protests in Armenia, the head of fraction "EFC" Nikol Pashinian officially approved as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister.

The Republican Party has not nominated its candidate. He called on people to block the streets, airports and railway stations, adding that the protests would be peaceful.

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Supporters of Pashinyan, who had spent the day in the capital's Republic Square to watch the parliamentary debate on two huge screens, shouted "shame" when the result of the vote was shown.

Pashinyan, a member of parliament in a small opposition party, received 45 votes, eight fewer than necessary to win.

Sargsyan led Armenia as president for 10 years until term limits forced him to step down and was made prime minister in mid-April.

He had earlier warned MPs of a "political tsunami" if they did not back him.

Before Tuesday's vote, Pashinian had floored questions in the chamber where control has always been held by Sarksyan's Republican backers.

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"It is very important to enhance the effectiveness of the mechanism of property declaration by officials, since now this mechanism gives them room for hiding information about property", Pashinyan said. The Tsarukyan alliance has 31 seats, and the Yelk faction has 9 seats.

The constitution states that a new election will be held in a week's time.

Mr Pashinyan, 42, has said he wants to call snap elections.

Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, nominated by the Elk parliamentary faction, was the only candidate.

"We will do everything to eliminate the European Union visa requirement for Armenian citizens", Pashinyan told the legislature, according to comments carried by state news agency Armenpress.

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"The Republicans won't be able to thwart the people's victory", 59-year-old financier Armen Nikagosyan told AFP at the rally.