Residents of Resort Town of Sevan Join Protests Against Armenian Government
24 April, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
YEREVAN-The dramatic events the led to the resignation Serzh Sarkisian as Armenia's prime minister brought a new political dawn in Armenia.
The protests, which drew about 100,000 people at their peak, including unarmed soldiers and clergy, paralyzed the center of the capital, Yerevan, for 11 consecutive days.
Although Serzh Sargsyan's intention to occupy the prime minister's post was not officially announced until the end of his presidential term, there was little doubt about his plans.
On the same day, the Armenian parliament voted for appointing Serzh Sargsyan to the prime minister's post: 77 MPs voted for it, 17 MPs were against.
Former president Sargsyan spearheaded constitutional reforms that transformed Armenia from a presidential to parliamentary system and set him up to rule the country for years to come. Police released Nikol Pashinyan, a lawmaker regarded as the main opposition leader, on Monday. In his statement published on his website, Mr Sargsyan said he was "addressing all citizens of the Republic of Armenia. for the last time as leader of the country". "I congratulate you, victorious people".
Protest leader "Nikol Pashinian was right".
"In the current situation there are several solutions, but I won't choose any of them". It is not for me. Since January, the National Assembly began rubber-stamping a number of legal amendments further extending prime ministerial authority (Hraparak.am, January 27; Sputnik Armenia, April 5). Armen Sargsyan (not related), previously nominated by Serzh Sargsyan to be the latter's successor as head of state (see EDM, January 29), was sworn in as the new president on April 9 and performed the ceremonial functions for his former patron a week later (Panorama.am, April 9).
The parliament's action triggered massive anti-government protests in the streets of Yerevan since April 13, with demonstrators blocking government buildings and facing off with police.
It seemed unlikely that the elevation of Karapetyan would placate the protesters, who oppose the ruling elite as a whole. "I was wrong", Sargsyan said.
Pashinyan said his meeting with Karapetyan will focus on the "government transition agenda".
Russian officials and state television have been cautious in commenting on the political crisis in Armenia.
Ahead of Sargsyan's resignation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik that Moscow was following the developments in Armenia and expressed hope that everything would be done within the legal framework.
The Kremlin official added that Russian Federation considered the developments in the Caucasian country a domestic issue.
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