Protests erupt in Armenia ahead of ex-president's 'appointment as PM'

Protests erupt in Armenia ahead of ex-president's 'appointment as PM'

Protests erupt in Armenia ahead of ex-president's 'appointment as PM'

Around a 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.

Police used stun grenades against protesters who sought to break through a barbed wire cordon in the center of the capital Yerevan in an effort to get to the parliament building. The parliament is expected to vote Tuesday on the matter. The opposition is launching acts of protest in order to undermine the election.

The demonstrations started oat 8am when the Opposition MP, Nikol Pashinyan closed one of the main streets of Yerevan- the Baghramyan Avenue, by lying down in front of the buses.

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The ruling Republican party nominated Sarksyan, who served as president for a decade from 2008, as its candidate for prime minister on Saturday. The pro-Moscow politician ended his second and final presidential term last week but has been nominated by the ruling party for the post of prime minister.

On the same day, protesters led by Pashinyan seized the building of Armenia's Public Radio for around an hour.

As of Monday, several streets in central Yerevan remain blocked by hundreds of protesters, with Pashinyan, calling for civil disobedience including paralysing traffic, striking, and boycotting classes in universities. The Constitution of Armenia was changed, transforming it from presidential to a parliamentary state.

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