Nikol Pashinyan was elected today as Armenian prime minister. Russian Federation has two military bases in Armenia and is wary of so-called color revolutions such as occurred in Ukraine and Georgia. In private, detractors say Mr Pashinyan is a novice when it comes to working in government and unwilling to compromise.
"He's got a certain charm that attracts people", he told AFP.
Throughout the protests, Pashinyan had dressed in a camouflage T-shirt and military-style cap, an outfit that became his trademark, but on Tuesday he changed into a suit and tie. The opposition protested against the election of former President Serzh Sargsyan to the post of prime minister.
Pashinyan secured a relevant number of votes necessary for getting the job after 59 Armenian lawmakers voted to grant him the PM's powers.
On Monday evening thousands of Pashinyan supporters rallied in Yerevan's central square, waving tricolour national flags and chanting his name. Many Armenians saw that as a cynical ploy by Sarskyan to extend his hold on power.
"I am very happy because this is a movement for the people, Armenians have come together and learned to love one another", said Anna Maritosyan, a social worker who was among the celebrants. "Armenia will once and for all turn the page of political persecutions". Putin has in the past resisted popular revolts in ex-Soviet states, particular in Georgia and Ukraine, viewing them as a ploy by Washington to encroach on Moscow's sphere of influence. After this, new protests began in Yerevan and in a number of cities of the republic.
Many Armenians have stewed for years about the country's poverty and widespread corruption, but Pashinian was able to galvanize that discontent into a mass movement that was raucous but largely peaceful. It was also fueled by anger over alleged corruption within Republican Party elite ruling the country since the 1990s.
Pashinyan faces tough challenges.
Before the vote, the opposition leader pledged that his first visit the head of government would be a visit to Nagorno Karabakh on May 9. In the meantime, he said he would carry out root-and-branch reforms to cut out graft and cronyism.
The road ahead will be tough not least because Pashinyan will be stuck with the recalcitrant Republican Party majority indefinitely.
On the 10 consecutive day of non-protest rallies in Armenia, lead by Ter-Petrosian, the government announced an emergency situation, and supressed the peaceful protests by brutal force on March 1, 2008, killing 10 and wounding hundreds of peaceful protestors. "I hope we are mistaken".