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Armenia opposition leader elected prime minister

Pashinyan's supporters cheer the news in Yerevan. Photo: SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images

A week after Armenia's parliament rejected opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, voters gave in to protests and popular sentiment and elected him Tuesday in a 59 to 42 vote.

Why it matters: A small elite had clung to power for decades in the former Soviet state, which remains close to Moscow, until protests last month forced out the prime minister and elevated Pashinyan. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin declined to intervene. "He seems to have decided that it was better to sacrifice his ally than to risk losing Armenia itself," writes the Washington Post's David Ignatius.