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Armenia election: Who is Nikol Pashinyan?

Armenia election: Who is Nikol Pashinyan?
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Monday, 10 December, 2018, 10:40

Nikol Pashinyan is the acting prime minister of Armenia and came into power following a peaceful revolution in the country earlier this year.
The mass protests brought a watershed moment to the country, a small post-Soviet landlocked nation of 2.9 million.

At the time of the uprising - member of parliament Pashinyan opposed the ruling Republican government and set off his "My Step" protest march on 31 March from Gyumri. Only a few joined him, mainly journalists.

When he reached the capital, Yerevan, on 13 April - thousands more joined.

Faced with an uprising, Prime Minister Serzh Sarsyan resigned on April 23 and Pashinyan was named as acting prime minister shortly after.

"He formed a coalition government which was from the onset promised to be a transition government and its main purpose was to initiate a snap parliamentary election as soon as possible," Anahit Shirinyan, an Armenian political analyst told Euronews.

The parliamentary landscape in Armenia failed to represent Armenian citizens after the revolution, Shirinyan said.

So Pashinyan stepped down from his position in October to trigger a snap election to be held on Sunday December 9.

Laurence Broers, an associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank's Russia and Eurasia programme said he called the election to "normalise the political situation after 'April's Velvet Revolution.'"

"The revolution brought him to power as prime minister through the force of a civil uprising. But the parliament remained the one elected in April 2017, under the 'old rules,'" Broers said.

Pashinyan's key message in the build-up to the election was to continue in his fight against corruption after several cases were exposed under his leadership.

The leader reopened an investigation into the killing of 10 people during clashes between police and protestors in 2008 and the report claimed the army was used against demonstrators.

Former President Robert Kocharyan was charged on Friday in relation to the investigation of attempting to overthrow constitutional order by a court of appeal - which ordered his detention.

Kocharyan was arrested in July but released a month later and the case was sent to the Armenian appeals court.