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Pashinian Reappointed Armenian PM After Securing Parliament Majority

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaks at a cabinet meeting in Yerevan on January 10.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian speaks at a cabinet meeting in Yerevan on January 10.

YEREVAN -- Nikol Pashinian has been appointed to a second term as prime minister of Armenia after his political alliance scored a landslide victory in snap parliamentary elections.

President Armen Sarkisian signed the relevant decree on January 14 as the new 132-seat parliament convened for its first session.

"Congratulations, Mr. prime minister," Sarkisian told Pashinian at the presidential palace, adding: "Your success is our country's success, our people's, everyone's success -- including my own."

"The main political change expected in Armenia has already happened: Power has been returned to the people and democracy has been established in Armenia," Pashinian said.

Pashinian, a former anticorruption journalist and opposition lawmaker, was elected to the prime minister's post in May after spearheading weeks of mass protests that forced his predecessor, long-entrenched leader Serzh Sarkisian, to resign.

But the former ruling Republican Party (HHK) maintained its majority in parliament, so Pashinian announced in October that he was resigning as prime minister in order to dissolve parliament and force early elections.

Pashinian's My Step alliance won more than 70 percent of the vote in the December 9 election and now holds 88 seats in the legislature.

Holding a majority in the single-chamber parliament has increased Pashinian's power to pursue stated goals such as tackling corruption and reforming the economy of the South Caucasus country of 3 million.

The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) holds 26 seats and Bright Armenia holds 18 seats, while the HHK failed to clear the 5 percent threshold needed to secure parliamentary seats.

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