Armenian Police Trying to Disperse Protesters in Yerevan

18 April, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Armenian opposition leader announces 'velvet revolution' amid protests

Zaruhie Postanjanyan, who heads the Yerkir Tsirani political party, joined the protesters and told the police that the peaceful demonstrations were also for their benefit, adding that Armenia had taken a back seat in worldwide processes and isn't able to defend its borders.

Pashinian has a history of defiance.

He ended up only serving half that sentence - which he and fellow journalists said was politically motivated and followed a rigged vote - due to a general amnesty. Pashinian and other opposition leaders now accuse him of breaking that pledge.

They later rolled out razor wire to hold the surging crowd back, with some local media reporting the use of tear gas and stun grenades as well.

And in 2016, Pashinian stepped in to mediate between police and a little-known armed opposition group that was holding hostages after carrying out a deadly raid on a police station.

Several protesters were detained on Tuesday during a rally in the Armenian capital Yerevan against former president Serzh Sargsyan becoming prime minister, while opposition leader of the protest claimed to launch a nationwide "velvet revolution".

More news: Fresh Taliban attacks kill at least 13 policemen in Afghanistan

"Such actions can lead to crimes against the citizens' life, health and property", police said in a statement.

A former editor in chief of and owner of Haikakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times), one of the most popular Armenian newspapers, Pashinian was elected to parliament in 2012 as a representative of the opposition Armenian National Congress party.

In an address to parliament following his election, Sargsyan noted that Armenia had no experience with an elected head of government. In 2015, his administration initiated a constitutional reform that transfers key elements of presidential authority to the prime minister, including the command of the army and the oversight of the security apparatus.

The election of Mr Sargsyan to the presidency in 2008 was met with demonstrations, with protesters alleging vote rigging.

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkissian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under a new parliamentary system of government. He said, all possible means are to be used for it. Serzh Sargsyan, who held the office for almost a decade, had promised he wouldn't seek the key job of prime minister. Since the morning of April 16 the opposition has been making protests in the center of Yerevan. But on Monday the country's parliament unanimously chose Mr Sargsyan for the post.

He has repeatedly faced mass protests in the following years but remained the dominant politician of the landlocked ex-Soviet state.

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