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Protest against ex-leader's move in Armenia

Demonstrators blocked streets in the center of Yerevan in opposition to a change of government that will see Sarkisian maintain huge influence.

Protest against ex-leader's move in Armenia

World Bulletin / News Desk

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.

The 63-year-old ended his second and final presidential term last week and has been nominated by the ruling party for the post of prime minister.

The pro-Moscow politician is expected to be elected by parliament on Tuesday.

Protesters took to the streets after opposition leader Nikol Pashinian called on Armenians to stage rallies to prevent Sarkisian's political transition. 

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

Rallies began on Friday with more than four thousand taking part.

"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.

"We cannot let this happen."

A shrewd former military officer, Sarkisian has been in charge of the landlocked South Caucasus nation of 2.9 million since winning a presidential vote in 2008.

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under a new parliamentary system of government.

The two men are not related.

Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been designed to increase Serzh Sarkisian's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.

Last Mod: 16 Nisan 2018, 10:54
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