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Armenia’s president appoints former protest leader Pashinyan as PM

Armenia’s president appointed former protest leader Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister on Monday as the Caucasus country’s parliament met for the first time since an election last month. Pashinyan won a landslide victory in the snap December parliamentary elections, cementing his authority after he swept to power in a peaceful revolution last year. Speaking in the National Assembly, President Armen Sarkissian said the election had “endowed this parliament with a high legitimacy,” AFP reports. Former journalist Pashinyan, 43, first became PM in May after spearheading weeks of peaceful anti-government rallies that ousted veteran leader Serzh Sarkisian. Pashinyan resigned in October after efforts at reform stalled in the face of opposition from Sarkisian’s Republican Party. Only parties who backed “the revolution” made it to parliament as a result of the vote which international monitors hailed as democratic. Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party won 70.43 percent of the vote.