May 8, 2018

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.

  • 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.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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