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Opposition leader urges allies to blockade Armenia’s government facilities

Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday he was launching a "velvet revolution"

YEREVAN, April 18. /TASS/. The leader of the Civil Contract opposition party, MP Nikol Pashinyan, has urged his supporters to blockade all government facilities across the country, TASS reports from the site.

"The whole country can hear me at the moment. I am urging everyone to head to government buildings, get into offices, paralyze the activity of the entire government sector," Pashinyan told a meeting late on Wednesday. He said "rural residents and residents of townships should compel all heads of local administrations to join the opposition movement".

The opposition movement has pledged money awards to those police officers who will join the protesters. "The first police officer who becomes our comrade-in-arms and joins our fight will get $10,000. All the rest will get $2,000 each," political analyst Armen Grigoryan told the meeting in central Yerevan. He said the money had been promised "by a fellow countryman living abroad".

On April 13, Armenia’s radical opposition started mass protests against the candidacy of former president Serzh Sargsyan for prime minister of the country. However, Sargsyan was elected Prime Minister on Tuesday amid the rallies.

Nikol Pashinyan said on Tuesday he was launching a ‘velvet revolution’.

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.