efe-epaTbilisi

Armenia's parliament on Tuesday elected the until-now leader of the opposition as the country's new prime minister, two weeks after massive anti-government protests led to his predecessor's resignation.

Nikol Pashinyan, who leads the liberal Yelk ("Way Out") coalition, received 59 votes from his fellow lawmakers in the National Assembly, six more than the minimum needed to become head of government.

Minutes after his election, Pashinyan vowed to bring "big changes" to the small Caucasian nation of barely 3 million inhabitants.

Last Tuesday, the parliament _ controlled by the rival Republican Party _ had rejected his candidacy to replace former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who stepped down after facing a slew of large-scale demonstrations called by the opposition.

Protesters, especially young people, rallied against what they felt was a corrupt, oligarchic and nepotist government that had burdened them with a lack of opportunities.

Pashinyan, 42, is a former journalist and editor who in 2013 co-founded the political party Civil Contract, which went on to join forces with the parties Bright Armenia and Republic in order to form the centrist Yelk alliance that obtained only nine assembly seats in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

He recently gained the support of a great number of citizens in his capacity as the most visible figure helming the widespread protests, which soon saw participants clamoring for him to become the nation's new PM.