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Armenia’s opposition to continue protests - lawmaker

April 22, 2018, 20:55 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The opposition leader demanded Sargsyan step down while the latter said it was inadmissible to try to intimidate the legitimate authorities

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YEREVAN, April 22. /TASS/. Armenia’s opposition will continue rallies, protests and marches in Yerevan and other cities across the country, Lena Nazaryan, a member of the opposition party Civil Contract and a member of the national parliament, said at a rally on Sunday, according to a TASS correspondent.

"We will continue our protests to have Serzh Sargsyan (Armenian prime minister - TASS) step down. Our actions are peaceful. Let them arrest us but we must not use force. Go on strikes, stop attending classes, begin rallies everywhere right in the morning," she said, adding that the party’s leader, Nikol Pashinyan, who was arrested on Sunday morning, called on his supporters "not to stay in the streets in nighttime so that police don’t use force."

Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan and opposition leader MP Nikol Pashinyan met at Yerevan’s Marriott hotel on Sunday morning. The opposition leader demanded Sargsyan step down while the latter said it was inadmissible to try to intimidate the legitimate authorities. The talks were interrupted after that.

Earlier in the day, the Armenian prosecutor general’s office confirmed the arrest of opposition lawmakers Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Mikaelian on charges of holding unauthorized rallies.

The situation in Yerevan remains very tense. The police detained 253 activists on Sunday alone.

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.

Now, 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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