Armenia opposition chief urges new protests, strike

Katrina Barker
April 17, 2018

As the chairman of the ruling Republican Party and its nominee for the position, Armenia's last president Serzh Sargsyan is the top choice for the prime minister spot and is widely expected to win the legislative body's vote of confidence.

About 60 protesters have been detained and charged by the police, with several dozen people requiring medical treatment - including Mr Pashinyan.

Opposition supporters walk along a street during a rally in central Yerevan on April 16, 2018.

Armenian lawmakers elected the prime minister for the first time in Armenia's history after the Constitution was amended and Armenia changed its form of government and handed more powers to the prime minister.

Mr Pashinyan earlier urged protesters in Yerevan and in other cities to blockade state institutions. As a result, 46 people, including six police officers, were injured, Armenia's Health Ministry reported.

Opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan said the protests constitute a "non-violent velvet revolution".

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. The injuries were caused by the special measures that had been taken by the police.

Earlier on Monday, demonstrators marched through the centre of Yerevan and blocked streets after Pashinian called on Armenians to prevent Sarkisian's political transition.

Several hundred people sat or lay down on pavements on Monday, blocking roads leading to the parliament building and universities. The outspoken government critic and newspaper editor was sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of helping organize mass protests over Serzh Sarkisian's 2008 presidential election that left 10 dead and more than 200 injured. The rallies began on Friday when more than 4,000 people took part.

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under a new parliamentary system of government.

Sargsyan rules Armenia in the role of a president since 2008.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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