Saturday, 18 August, 2018

In Yerevan there were clashes between students and police

Thousands Crowd Central Yerevan Ahead Of Prime Minister Vote Armenia Protest
Charlie Simmons | 18 April, 2018, 00:50

Police fired stun grenades and used barbed wires to stop the protestors, leaving several people wounded, after thousands of opposition supporters began to march toward parliament in Yerevan.

Parliament is expected to elect ex-president Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister under a new parliamentary system of government that will allow the 63-year-old to maintain his chokehold on the country.

An opposition leader and several dozen other protesters were injured on Monday in Armenia as thousands of people rallied against a move by the ex-president to maintain a chokehold on power.

Sarkisian will remain the ex-Soviet country's leader under a new parliamentary system of government, which the opposition says has been created to maintain his chokehold on power.

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His candidacy was promoted by as the ruling Republican party; during today's parliamentary session, 77 MPs supported him, 17 voted against. Police attempted to prevent demonstrators from reaching the parliament building, local media reported, while the health ministry said 46 people including six police officers required medical assistance after the clashes.

When Armenian lawmaker Nikol Pashinian received a police notice warning that the protests he was leading were unlawful, few were surprised when he ripped it up on the spot without even bothering to read it. The protesters also disrupted metro operations and stormed university campuses. But the Pashinian later returned - sporting a bandaged arm - and vowed to continue the demonstrations.

In 2017, Pashinian set up his own party and was elected to parliament as head of the Yelk election bloc. Though Monday also saw major roads in the center of the capital being blocked by demonstrators. The police said the opposition's actions were illegal but so far refrained from using force. "With this minor inconvenience we are trying to save you from a greater inconvenience called Serzh Sarkisian", Pashinian shouted repeatedly through a megaphone to the crowd.

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.

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