Forty-six people hospitalized after clashes between protesters, police in Yerevan
17 April, 2018, 18:43 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
Meeting of the Parliament of Armenia passes in conditions when thousands of people blocked streets of Yerevan, protesting against the election of Serzh Sargsyan as Prime Minister.
However, in the current protests, which started on April 13, both protesters and the authorities appear to have taken an uncompromising stance, which could lead to a worsening of the situation following Sargsyan's expected election. All downtown streets in Yerevan continue to be paralyzed. He resigned as president a week earlier and, under a new constitution that makes the prime minister the country's most powerful figure, is set to extend his unpopular rule indefinitely.
Clashes broke out in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, as protester attempted to storm the parliament building. As a result, 46 people, including six police officers, were injured, Armenia's Health Ministry reported.
The Police have issued a statement, urging Nikol Pashinyan, leader of the anti-government protests, to comply with RA Law on the Freedom of Assembly, to stop blocking the streets and ensure the normal course of assembly.
Several thousand demonstrators pressed ahead with protests that began Friday, marching through the centre of the capital Yerevan and staging sit-in protests outside government buildings.
"Our goal right now is to preventSerzh Sargsyan from becoming the country's leader for a third time without violence and the use of force", Pashinian said.
"Serzh Sarkisian will not be Armenia's prime minister", declared the 42-year-old former journalist. Pashinian said the unprecedented disruption marked a "breakthrough" in Civil Contract's campaign against Sarkisian's continued rule which he claims would lead to Armenia's "Azerbaijanization", a reference to the long authoritarian rule of Azerbaijan's current and former presidents.
Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been created to increase Sargsyan's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.
After Sarkisian was first elected president in February 2008, 10 people died in bloody clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate.
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