Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Armenia ex-leader Serzh Sarkisian elected PM despite protests

Armenia ex-leader Serzh Sarkisian elected PM despite protests

Organised by Nikol Pashinian, a prominent opposition politician, the protests are meant to stop the appointment of Sargsyan as prime minister.

Armenia's parliament appointed ex-President Serzh Sargsyan as the country's prime minister on Tuesday as mass protests against his continued rule paralyzed the capital Yerevan.

Armenian opposition groups say around 30 of its supporters were detained when police tried to break up a protest.

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.

Earlier, the press Secretary of the Armenian police Ashot Aharonyan said that several protesters taken to police stations.

Some protesters chanted "Armenia without Serzh" and "Serzh is a liar".

More news: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Has Left Her Soweto Home for the Last Time

Authorities beefed up police presence and put in place cordons which some protesters broke through. But the Pashinian later returned - sporting a bandaged arm - and vowed to continue the demonstrations.

Some built barricades using cast-iron benches and metal trash cans.

The spokesman for the ruling party, Eduard Sharmazanov, has dismissed the protests as "the opposition's artificial and fake agenda". "No one will prevent us from voting tomorrow for our candidate Serzh Sarkisian", he told AFP.

Sargsyan's second term as president ended on April 9, and the country is now poised to transition to a parliamentary republic from a presidential republic.

Rallies began on Friday when more than 4,000 people took part.

As a result, presidential veto powers were stripped from the president and the post was downgraded to a figurehead position elected by parliament every seven years rather than by a direct popular vote. "If I am elected, it won't be the third government term of Serzh Sargsyan, but rather the first term of a Republican Party of Armenia government in a parliamentary Armenia", he said.

Like this: