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People power pays off in Armenia

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By Robert Hackwill
People power pays off in Armenia
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Yerevan's Republic Square erupted into celebrations after Armenia's parliament elected protest leader Nikol Pashinian as the country's new prime minister.

Supporters cheered the vote in favour, 59 to 42. The vote came after the ruling Republican Party of Armenia dropped its resistance to Pashinian, and gave him 11 votes. He was the only candidate for the prime minister's job.

The immediate political turmoil has been calmed, and fears in Moscow allayed with assurances Armenia's close relationship with Russia will continue, but there is uncertainty about the longer term.

Pashinian has been able to galvanise chronic feelings among many Armenians that poverty and widespread corruption were far too high into a mass movement, but the Republicans retain a sizeable majority in parliament.