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Opposition activists block all approach routes to Armenia’s parliament

April 17, 10:57 UTC+3 YEREVAN

There have been clashes between opposition members and residents who are going to work since early morning

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© Aram Kirakosyan, PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, April 17. /TASS/. Opposition activists have blocked streets and crossings in downtown Yerevan, as well as the parliament’s building. There have been clashes between opposition members and residents who are going to work since early morning, TASS reported.

"I call on everyone to go to the Armenian parliament’s building. We have no business today, so block the streets, crossings and start a general strike," leader of the Civil Contract opposition party and MP Nikol Pashinyan told citizens. He also told residents "to enter state governance buildings and block everything." "Block entries to ministries, agencies and administration offices in regions, cities and villages and do not allow employees to start their work," he said. According to Pashinyan, "today should be a day of a total blockade."

The parliamentarian called on the youth to stage sit-ins in these facilities. "But don’t break anything and don’t insult anyone," Pashinyan warned.

Police drew up forces and special equipment at Bagramyan Avenue where the Armenian parliament is located.

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.

On Tuesday, the Armenian parliament will vote on the nation’s new prime minister. The ruling Republican party of Armenia nominated Serzh Sargsyan, who had concluded his 10-year tenure as president of the country on April 9. The opposition is launching protests in order to disrupt the vote.

Earlier on Monday, police had to use force against opposition activists who tried to climb through razor wire barriers and break into the Armenian parliament building.

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