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YEREVAN, June 26. /TASS/. Participants in the public initiative "No to Robbery!" that make up the majority of protesters in Yerevan have put forward Friday three demands for the Armenian authorities.
Firstly, activists demand to cancel the decision of the Commission on regulating public services that envisages increasing electricity tariffs from August 1. Secondly, protesters demand to review the tariffs from last year and lower them. Thirdly, they call for punishing all law enforcers who used force against peaceful demonstrators at Marshall Bagramyan Prospect on June 23 and those who ordered it.
Mass protest rallies have been underway in Yerevan for several days. The riots erupted after the Commission for regulation of the country’s public services had agreed to increase public electricity tariffs by 16% to meet the request received from CJSC "Electric Networks of Armenia" distribution company, a subsidiary of RAO UES INTERNATIONAL. The measure which is to take effect on August 1 caused a wave of indignation among ordinary Armenians who assumed that the electricity price hike would automatically increase prices for essentials and many services. Many people took to the streets to express dissatisfaction with the authorities’ actions.
Several thousand people remain at Marshall Bagramyan Prospect, the main street in Yerevan. The number of demonstrators is expected to grow in the evening. On Thursday, around 5,000 people took part in the protests.