Protest against ex-leader's move in Armenia

17 April, 2018, 18:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Yelk Party Nikol Pashinyan speaks during a protest organized by'My Step and'#merjirserjin initiatives at Liberty Square in Yerevan on Friday

But the ruling Republican Party went ahead with the vote despite the opposition rallies that saw several dozen protesters hurt in clashes with police in Yerevan on Monday.

Earlier, the press Secretary of the Armenian police Ashot Aharonyan said that several protesters taken to police stations.

Opposition supporters walk along a street during a rally in central Yerevan on April 16, 2018. It was the first presidential election since a 2015 constitutional referendum that was created to shift power in Armenia from the presidency to parliament and, mainly, the prime minister. He at the same time urged his supporters to avoid any violent actions even if security forces move to break up the protests.

Yesterday, 46 people were injured during the clashes between the police and protesters.

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Meanwhile, the national police issued a written appeal to Pashinian saying that the protests will be forcibly broken up if he continues defy their warnings.

For 5 days in row the opposition holds mass protests against the ex-president, Serzh Sargsyan becoming the Prime Minister of the country. And he again accused Sarkisian of breaking his 2014 pledge not to extend his rule if Armenia becomes a parliamentary republic.

Local media report that before he was officially sworn in, Mr Sargsyan told parliament that under the new constitution the prime minister would be "under parliament's control and can be replaced for political reasons".

Pashinian suffered injuries to his hands and right eye and was rushed to hospital in a police auto.

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Earlier on Monday, demonstrators marched through the centre of Yerevan and blocked streets, some chanting "Armenia without Serzh" and "Serzh is a liar".

Serzh Sarkisian, a shrewd former military officer, has been in charge of the landlocked South Caucasus nation of 2.9 million since winning a presidential vote in 2008.

It remains unclear what effect the protests will have on Sargsyan's rule, but they have already grown far larger than most observers expected, creating one of the biggest crises in his ten years in power.

Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been created to increase Serzh Sarkisian's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.

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