National Assembly Fails to Elect Nikol Pashinyan for PM; Pashinyan Calls for ‘Total Strike’

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Earlier today, Armenia’s National Assembly failed to elect Nikol Pashinyan as the country’s prime minister (PM).

Nikol Pashinyan (Photo: Photolure)

In the vote taken today at the National Assembly’s special session, 45 votes were cast in favor of Pashinyan, while 55 votes were cast against. The vote was preceded by a Q&A, followed by a long series of emotional speeches from about 19 members of parliament.

Despite having announced over the weekend that they would not “block the vote” for the people’s candidate (i.e. Pashinyan), all but one of the members of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA)—who did not nominate a candidate—voted against Pashinyan. The only Republican MP to defect was Felix Tsolakyan.

Absent from the voting were three MPs: one from the Republican party, Grigor Avalyan, who submitted his resignation from the NA today; and two members of the Prosperous Armenia Party, Ishkhan Zakaryan and Melik Manukyan.

Two members of parliament who were present, but did not vote included the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Aghvan Vardanyan, whose refusal to support Pashinyan shocked his on party and he was subsequently asked to step down; and the RPA’s Rustam Makhmudyan.

Votes were published to the website of the National Assembly.

After leaving the parliament building, Pashinyan proceeded to Republic Square, where he gave an impassioned speech, calling for students and workers to begin a “total strike” beginning tomorrow at 8 a.m. He also reiterated the peaceful nature of the protests.

According to the constitution, if a PM is not elected, a new election should be held seven days after the vote. If a PM again is not elected by majority vote, the National Assembly will be dissolved. Pashinyan was nominated as a PM candidate by his party, Yelk (“Way Out”) on May 1, and was the sole nominee in the vote held during a special session of parliament.


Editor’s Note 05/02/18: This article was initially published as a Breaking news bulletin, we have updated it with more information as it became available.


    • Why? … can you explain …
      Are you against your people who are suffering and
      you are sitting happily in your chair drinking coffee…?
      Do you think you are fair…Because you like the tyrant …
      Hear what Our famous Singer TATA singing …
      and showing the atrocities committed by tyrants …
      A great shame to see an Armenian like you …
      Even you don’t give your full name because you know yourself,
      you are a betrayer… aren’t you???

    • Amen brother! This Pashinyan guy is just a trouble maker who’ll ruin the country and cause its eventual demise! He showed his lack of respect for a civilized process of electing a new PM by running to the streets ,after his defeat ,to create more chaos!The educated students and the young people of Armenia should shun this guy like the plague!Don’t let your independence,for which you’ve fought and sacrificed so much, to be hijacked by this guy!Could he be the Trojan Horse for Levon Ter Bedrossian?

    • Sylva,please educate yourself.The PM is not elected by the “people”; he is elected by the members of the parliament!

  1. Amot eh! So after several news accounts report and confirmed that the RPA would not nominate a candidate and that they would not obstruct the nomination of Pashinyan, the same behavior that has plagues the Republic surfaces…a last minute reversal to block his candidacy. Now we clearly have a political crisis of the force of tomorrow verses the forces of yesterday.
    Seven days for a re one and time for more shenanigans. Hoping to force snap elections with the RPA called the electoral shots. And they think this is in the interest of Armenia?

  2. The people living there have their own concerns as what they want but for me as a diaspora I want to know Nikol’s clear cut policy regarding Artsakh and what is it. And also what his relations with first president Levon is who wanted to give away Artsakh.

    • Watch MP Arman Saghatelian during the May 1 National Assembly session showing a 2001 issue of ‘Haykakan Zhamanak’ where NP’s views regarding Artsakh were published.

  3. This is neither good news nor bad news, though it is disturbing.
    It is the reality of the political process.
    The youth movement has been formidable; Hopefully it will not lose momentum and continue to press and demand for real change.
    Probably in 7 days, we’ll have another failure to elect a Prime Minister. The National Assembly is then dissolved and elections should be held.
    The question will be: Will the elections be clean, fair and with no fraudulent interference or threats.
    It will be up to the people to vote.
    In the meantime, we all should hope and pray for peace, no violence, and no security threats from our enemies.
    Vart Adjemian

  4. Now we can view the money trail from Langley. Pashinyan, keur LEVON’s sidekick who was against Kocharyab and Sargsyan wants to be PM. As if LEvon didn’t do enough damage now it’s his minion who wants to finish it off by selling out Artsakh. Just because you have a bunch of young hoodlums are taking marching orders doesn’t qualify him to be PM. Might be the right time to ask the US embassy for section 8 and SS8 benefits and migrate to Glendale!!

  5. First and foremost, I’m an old school Tashnag. By any means, I’m neither an opponent of the Armenian Republican Party nor proponent. In the past, I have seen how radical Pashinyan could get if he did not have his way, after all he was the president of the , Impeachment Union in ’07. As a matter of fact, in 2007 , he was wanted by the Armenian government for committing premeditated murders and actions intented to seizing of state power by force, and committing murders in the streets of Yerevan in which eight people died. He went into hiding for the next two years. Yes, his name was, Nikol Pashinyan, the same man who is fighting FOR YOUR democracy . About a week ago,standing in front of his supporters in, the Republic Square, he declared,” Either I’m elected with the support of the people, by their demand, or else NO PRIME MINISTER WILL BE ELECTED IN ARMENIA”. This IS an ULTIMATUM by a person who is demanding democracy by FAIR ELECTIONS , yes this is your man Nikol. What an Hypocrite. Mr. Pashinyan’s radical behaviour has no place in the world of democracy, he is taking advantage of the momentum behind the street protesters. Protesting in the streets is NOT THE WAY TO ACHIEVE REAL DEMOCRACY. Today,the members of the Armenian National Assembly had nine hours of debate in selecting the ONLY PM candidate, Mr. Pashinyan, in which , Mr. Pashinyan, FAILED to convince the members of the Assembly of his ability to govern the country. The Armenian Assembly, came to conclusion that , this man, Mr. Pashinyan , is a con artist and WISHY WASHY clown who has no experience in politics and out of touch with reality , let alone governing a nation. Tomorrow,at the initiative of Pashinyan, there will be a major demonstrations paralyzing the entire country, due to the fact that Pashinyan, the problem child, was not elected the next Prime Minister. With complete disregard to the rights of the majority voters in 2017, whom they elected Mr. Sargsyan, Pashinyan, is convinced that he should be elected the LEGITIMATE Prime Minister of Armenia. Therefore, my take on this issue is this, IF you support this individual, don’t come crying on my shoulder.

  6. It’s time for the Army to hold hands with the people and bring down these corrupt people and force snap elections and have a new parliament with a new PM.
    We the Armenian people in and out of Armenia wont stand for these thugs anymore. They have been robing Armenia and it’s people for to long.
    Enough is enough !

  7. This is the direct result of having a criminal oligarchic system over the past 20 years who will do anything to keep their power,they have even tried very hard to persuade Russia to interfere in Armenia in favour of RPA.sejuk and Robert have suddenly left for Moscow on Monday night in order to ask Russia to support their criminal regime which the hardliners are demanding with the ruling RPA which will be a monumental error by Russia if they take such a step as their influence in Armenia will turn to zero.

  8. Ok, Sylva, You explain to me the reason you are supporting this Pashinyan guy. Are you supporting him out of compassion or what? This Pashinyan guy was Levon’s ‘ Yes Man ‘ in the 90’s. Remember Levon? The man who issued a decree on June 29, 1992 to expel Hrayr Maroukhian, a prominent member and long-time leader of Tashnagtzutiun of Armenia. Yes, Pashinyan, a CONVICT with no political experience, was alongside Levon warming up the protestors, instigating problems, and this is the top man you want him to lead the country? Have you no concerns about the future of Armenia and its people?

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