Armenia's ruling party on Tuesday blocked a bid by opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan to become prime minister, setting up a standoff between the elite that has run the state for over a decade and thousands of Pashinyan's supporters camped on the streets.
For the post of Prime Minister nominated only one candidate Nikol Pashinian.
On 23 April Serzh Sargsyan, the then-prime minister of Armenia, resigned.
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.
However, as a debate unfolded in parliament to discuss Pashinyan's candidacy for the vacant prime minister's post, it became clear the ruling elite was not willing to surrender power.
However, a spokesman for the Republican Party, Eduard Sharmazanov said earlier that should three opposition's factions support Pashinyan's nomination the RPA would not stonewall the election.
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Mr Pashinian is the only candidate, but the chamber is controlled by the ruling party, and Mr Pashinian needs their votes to win.
The protests erupted after Mr. Sargsyan, operating under a 2015 constitutional referendum that had transferred most presidential powers to the prime minister, tried to skirt term limits by changing jobs.
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., but also reiterated the peaceful nature of the protests.
The parliamentary majority, held by the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), has not announced yet how it will vote.
The candidate for the PM's post said that in order to protect against Azeri aggression, the Armenian people need to concentrate their potential and mobilize all forces.
Pashinyan's protest movement had accused ex-leader Sarkisian of a power grab, saying he had failed to tackle a litany of problems like corruption, poverty and the influence of oligarchs.