YEREVAN, Armenia | The Latest: Putin congratulates new Armenian PM

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Armenia's parliament has election opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian because the nation's new prime minister.

But after leading weeks of mass protests against the ruling party, Pashinyan succeeded in dramatically transforming the political landscape in the country and was elected PM by Armenia's parliament on Tuesday.

His election by a 59-42 vote on Tuesday overcomes one hurdle in resolving the disaster, however the Republican occasion that he opposed retains a majority in parliament.

Opposition politician Nikol Pashinyan is the only nominee in the vote in parliament.

Within an hour of the vote, Pashinyan traveled to Republic Square in central Yerevan to greet his supporters, who waved Armenian flags and balloons as a rock band performed live music.

Two other factions in addition to Pashinyan's Yelk have endorsed the opposition leader's candidacy - the ARF and the Tsarukyan. But his Republican party, which holds a majority in parliament, thwarted Pashinyan's first bid to replace him.

"I am 95 percent sure that your candidate will be elected as prime minister tomorrow", Pashinan told the cheering crowd.

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Events in the small south Caucuses state have been closely watched in Moscow, an ally of Armenia.

Supporters say Mr Pashinyan, who was also imprisoned after opposition rallies in 2008 turned deadly, is among history's great peaceful revolutionaries.

After the vote, Pashinyan headed to Republic Square, the center of the protest movement that brought him to the premiership.

In a referendum in 2015, Armenia adopted constitutional changes to move the powers from the president to the prime minister. "There will be no people with privileged rights in Armenia, everyone will be equal before the law", he stressed.

A year later Pashinian was elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of Ter-Petrosian's Armenian National Congress (HAK).

Opponents from the ruling Republican Party have accused Pashinyan - who says he wants good relations with both Russian Federation and the West - of being unpredictable and lacking a clear programme and ideology. He said his ministers will be chosen "as a result of discussions" with his allies and other political groups.

"The victory is not my being elected prime minister", he added. He was released from jail in 2011 under a prisoner amnesty scheme and elected to parliament the next year.

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