After a day of peaceful protests, during which tens of thousands of people blocked roads and railway lines, stopped the metro system, and for some time came close to disrupting work at Armenia's main international airport, it appeared that Nikol Pashinyan will be elected Armenian prime minister after all. Throughout the day political consultations took place between various political groups.
Pashinyan has retained the support of the three non-government blocs in the parliament, and importantly of the thousands of people who have daily taken to the streets to back his effort to dislodge the current government led by the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA). In a vote in parliament yesterday the RPA parliamentary faction voted against Pashinyan's candidacy, but today they changed their mind, saying that when the next vote takes place on 8 May, they will vote for a candidate who is nominated by at least one third of the MPs. This seems to be face-saving way of doing a u turn, and if it happens, assures Pashinyan of the premiership.
Throughout the day Armenia once more saw unprecedented scenes of popular protests, culminating in another huge rally on Yerevan's main square. Addressing the crowds Pashinyan said he would now stop the protests but warned supporters to be vigilant, and to follow his facebook page for any instructions. Pashinyan ends the day closer to achieving his aim of securing the country's premiership. But he is not quite there yet, and as events over the last days have shown, things can change very quickly in the current fluid political situation.
Earlier in the day Putin made a shorty private visit to Austria, where he attended the wedding of the Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneisl, and held what was described by the Kremlin as "a brief conversation" with the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.
Addressing Armenia's foreign policy Nikol Pashinyan said he wanted a qualitative improvement in the relations with Russia and to improve relations with the EU. To those who are saying Armenia is going to the west, Pashinyan said, "Armenia is going nowhere. It is just standing on its feet"