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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.

  • April 17: Serzh Sargsyan, running up against term limits after 10 years as president, pushes through constitutional changes to shift power to the prime minister and assumes that office.
  • April 23: Sargsyan resigns as prime minister following massive street demonstrations, saying, "I was wrong." Karen Karapetyan, a former prime minister and Sargsyan ally, becomes acting prime minister.
  • April 25: Protesters return to the streets after Karapetyan cancels transition talks with opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, citing unacceptable "unilateral" demands.
  • April 26: Again succumbing to protests, the government announces that parliament will select a new prime minister in a special session on May 1. Pashinyan is the only candidate.
  • May 1: Parliament, controlled by Sargsyan's party, rejects Pashinyan by a 55-45 vote. Pashinyan calls for a nationwide campaign of non-violent civil disobedience.
  • May 2: "Protesters blocked some routes into Armenia's capital and a road to the airport," per the AP. Pashinyan suspends the protests after "after the governing Republican Party indicated it would support his bid to be interim prime minister," per the BBC.
  • May 8: Parliament holds another special session to elect an interim leader, and this time approves Pashinyan.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.