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Yerevan police employ riot control methods to rein in opposition-sparked protesters

Yerevan police employ riot control methods to rein in opposition-sparked protesters

The opposition says a new parliamentary system of government will allow Sarkisian, 63, to maintain his grip on power.

The protesters took to the streets after opposition leader Pashinian called on Armenians to stage rallies to prevent Sarkisian's political transition. The ruling Republican party of Armenia nominated Serzh Sargsyan, who on April 9 had concluded his 10-year tenure as president of the country.

Authorities called on him to end the protests, which they threatened to break up by force. Since the morning of April 16 the opposition has been making protests in the center of Yerevan.

While presidential votes have typically been contentious affairs in Armenia, Sarkissian's election was initially met with comparative shrugs, and not just because the real power will now shift to the prime minister's office, which Sargsyan is widely expected to slide into.

Several hundred people sat or lay down on pavements, blocking roads leading to the parliament building and universities.




Pashinyan, a member of Civil Contract party, offered apologies to all the passengers and drivers of the bus and other vehicles, who expressed complaints for being late for work or classes.

"Something unprecedented is happening in Armenia - the same person wants to become the country's leader for a third time", Pashinian said at the weekend.

"No one will prevent us from voting tomorrow for our candidate Serzh Sarkisian", he told AFP.

The two men are not related.


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