Armenians protest against ex-leader's move to stay in power

Yerevan “Reject Serzh” Activists Block Mashtots Avenue

Yerevan “Reject Serzh” Activists Block Mashtots Avenue

Pashinian has a history of defiance.

According to Pashinyan, similar protest actions are held in nearly all cities of Armenia. But Pashinian boasted that he and other oppositionists were continuing to fight for regime change from behind bars. But Pashinian later returned, sporting a bandaged arm, and vowed to continue the demonstrations.

For a time, the tactic worked and thousands of protesters were able to easily pass through police cordons.

Several thousand protesters staged rallies on Monday in the Armenian capital against former president Serzh Sarkisian as he moves to maintain a chokehold on power as prime minister.

"Peaceful but very bold steps have been made, and that is why people believe him and have gone out into the streets", he adds.

The clashes broke out after senior police officers at the scene refused to let Pashinian and his supporters reach the National Assembly.

Opposition demonstrators blockaded government buildings in Armenia's capital Tuesday as parliament was set to confirm the pro-Moscow former president as the real power in the country. Prior to the constitutional reform that followed the 2015 referendum, Armenian presidents were elected by direct and universal suffrage.

Vahram Baghdasaryan, head of the RPA faction at the National Assembly (NA), assured that the next PM's election will take place in the parliament building. He said, all possible means are to be used for it.

"Without making any claims for leadership, he has boosted civil protest".

Armen Sarkisian took over as president from Sargsyan on Monday under a new system in which the president's powers will be weaker and the prime minister will dominate. Protesters marched through all levels of the University with calls to join the strike.

Parliament, which is dominated by the ruling party, is due to make a final decision on April 17.

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