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Armenian opposition leader unlikely to accept dialogue — expert

April 21, 0:30 UTC+3 YEREVAN

Mass rallies began in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia on Monday protesting against the nomination of former president Serzh Sargsyan’s candidacy for prime minister

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Protest in Yerevan

Protest in Yerevan

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

YEREVAN, April 20. /TASS/. Armenia's opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan is unlikely to accept dialogue with the government and the situation in the country will stay uncertain and nervy, Alexander Markarov, director of the Armenian branch of the Institute of CIS Countries, told TASS on Friday.

"Protests that have been going on for about a week are still center round a negative agenda. The Armenian opposition has no constructive program. Their criticism of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan is often too personified. At this stage, the leader of the protesters, Pashinyan, is unlikely to react to the calls for dialogue and the situation will continue to be nervy and uncertain," he said. "The protesters, who claim they are committed to non-violent methods, are deaf to calls from international community for restraint and search for constructive ways out of the situation."

"There are several ways out of this situation and the most desirable of them is dialogue between the authorities and the protest leaders. But if protesters are unwilling for compromise, the authorities may use legitimate methods to stop protests," Markarov noted.

Mass rallies began in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia on Monday protesting against the nomination of former president Serzh Sargsyan’s candidacy for prime minister. On Tuesday, Sargsyan was elected prime minister. Nikol Pashinyan declared a ‘velvet revolution’ and urged his supporters to peaceful civil disobedience actions.

On Thursday, opposition activists tried to break down a meeting of the new cabinet having clocked approaches to government buildings. Apart from that, they organized a 3,000-strong protest rally. Police detained 123 activists throughout the day. Protests continues into Friday, when 233 protesters were detained.

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