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Yerevan protesters block center demonstrating against ex-president's candidacy for PM

April 16, 2018, 10:25 UTC+3 YEREVAN

Armenia’s new President Armen Sarkissian, who used to serve as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was elected by the parliament on March 2

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Armenian police

Armenian police

© Aram Kirakosyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, April 16. /TASS/. Protesters have blockaded several streets and intersections in central Yerevan, continuing a protest action against the nomination of former President Serzh Sargsyan as candidate for prime minister of Armenia.

"We have launched an action of civil disobedience," the leader of the Civil Contract opposition party, Nikola Pashinyan said, urging the citizens to blockade streets and thoroughfares, to cause disruption to subway services. "Those who don’t want to have Sargsyan as prime minister must get together at Bagramyn Avenue - at the parliamentary building," said Pashinyan, a legislator.

He said "similar actions take place in Gyumri, where activists have blockaded several central streets". Early on Monday, the Armenian police issued a statement, which said "all actions of the activists are illegal, they restrict the rights of the citizens to freedom of movement". Law enforcement officers prevent the protesters from getting close to the parliamentary building. However, they so far refrain from the use of force.

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia on Saturday officially nominated the party chairman, former President Serzh Sargsyan, as its candidate for prime minister of the country.

Armenia’s new President Armen Sarkissian, who used to serve as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom was elected by the parliament on March 2. Under the constitutional reform, Armenia is switching over to a parliamentary system of government. Prior to the constitutional reform that followed the 2015 referendum, Armenian presidents were elected by direct and universal suffrage. When all constitutional amendments finally come into force, Armenia will complete its transition to a parliamentary form of government, with the prime minister exercising executive authority and the president performing mainly representative functions and being in charge of control over compliance with the constitution.

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