Armenians are casting their votes in early parliamentary elections Sunday.
Reformist leader Nikol Pashinian, 43, swept to power in May after weeks of anti-government protests that forced the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who was also a former president of Armenia.
Sargsyan’s ruling Republican Party, however, blocked Pashinian’s bid to become prime minister, resulting in more protests. The Republican Party then decided to back Pashinian for what it said was the good of the nation.
Pashinian became prime minister, but recently stepped down so parliament could be dissolved for the early election. He remains Armenia’s acting prime minister.
Analysts expect him to be re-instated in office, with his My Step alliance in control of parliament.
Pashinian, a former newspaper editor who had been imprisoned for his activism, has promised to maintain close ties with Russia and fight corruption. He has also pledged to “step up cooperation with the United States and European Union.”