Protest against ex-leader's move in Armenia

Nellie Chapman
April 16, 2018

Several protests loosely organised around the slogan "No to Serzh", have been held since March. Protesters have been gathering in front of the ruling Republican Party's headquarters since 9 April, when acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan announced that Serzh Sargsyan would replace him.

Around 6,000 gathered in Armenia's capital on Monday in protest at what the opposition calls a power grab by former president Serzh Sarksyan and several people were injured in scuffles with police.

The Ministry said some have already been discharged from medical institutions. Later on, the most serious incident of the demonstration so far happened when the passengers of one of the vehicles attacked the protesters as the vehicle drove through the barrier.

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Anti-Serzh Sargsyan activists staged an impromptu sit down in Hayk Square in Vanadzor, Armenia's third largest town this afternoon.

Since Monday morning, the demonstrators have blocked numerous streets in downtown Yerevan. The parliament is expected to vote Tuesday on the matter. 'Fake agenda' Parliamentary vice-speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, who is the ruling party's spokesman, dismissed the protests as "the opposition's artificial and fake agenda". Some protesters began to build barricades with trash bins and benches. The two men are not related.

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. Tensions in Armenia often flare up during presidential and parliamentary elections.

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