Denied Power, Armenian Opposition Leader Urges Nationwide Strikes

Prime minister candidate Nikol Pashinyan was grilled by members of the Republican Party of Armenia parliamentary faction on Monday

Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was the only candidate, but the parliament did not elect the protest leader to be the country's prime minister.

However, local media outlets reported early on Tuesday that the sole candidate for the post has announced in a video message posted on his Facebook page that the Republican deputies have chose to thwart the scheduled vote.

The National Assembly is set to elect a new prime minister on Tuesday after the former was ousted amid massive protests across Armenia just one week after taking up the post.

Speaking to his supporters in the early hours of today, Pashinyan said that the ruling party planned to derail the vote and urged hundreds of thousands to take to the streets.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 opposition supporters spent the day peacefully rallying outside the parliament building to support Pashinyan.

"From 8:15 am tomorrow all roads should be blocked, I announce a general strike", Pashinyan told tens of thousands of supporters gathered in the capital Yerevan's Republic Square.

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Pashinyan failed Tuesday to persuade individual lawmakers to cross party lines so he could amass the 53-vote majority he needed in the 105-seat legislature.

"Yes, definitely", he said in response to a question as to whether Pashinyan would be nominated again.

The opposition in this Caucasus Mountains country saw Sargsyan's move into the prime minister's chair as an attempt by him to stay in power indefinitely.

Pashinyan, who spearheaded the mass protests that led to the resignation of the veteran leader Sezh Sarkisian last month, has insisted that only he can rid the poor ex-Soviet nation of corruption and poverty and conduct free and fair elections.

During the parliamentary debate, Republican Party lawmakers accused Pashinyan or being an irresponsible rabble-rouser, they alleged he recruited children to join his protest movement, and said he lacked the qualities to command the Armenian armed forces.

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