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Demonstrations resume in Armenia following opposition leader's call

30 April 2018

The leader of the opposition, which so far is the only candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Armenia, said that is not Pro-Western politician, as was represented in the Western press.

Armenia, a close ally of Russian Federation, has been rocked by two weeks of anti-government protests against the ruling elite which led on Monday to the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan as prime minister.

The Prosperous Armenia Party, which holds 31 seats in Parliament, was expected to issue a statement on whether it would back Pashinyan, a 42-year-old lawmaker who led mass street protests that prompted Sarkisian to resign as prime minister on Monday after being accused of a power grab by the opposition.

Pashinyan, a former journalist turned lawmaker, has said parliament must elect him prime minister on Tuesday when it votes. Karapetyan is an ally of Sarksyan and a member of his ruling Republican Party.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a phone conversation with Armenian President Armen Sargsyan April 27, official spokesman for the Secretary-General Stefan Dujarrik told reporters, according TASS.

"An extremely important rally is expected, and we should display our resolve and show that we can not be broken down", Pashinian said.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied Wednesday in Yerevan, calling for Pashinian to become prime minister.

On April 23, at 16:00, Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned as widespread protests entered the 11th day.

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However, after his party nominated him for the post of prime minister Tsarukyan has also withdrawn his name on April 29, which heads off the possibility that HHK could have thrown their weight behind Tsarukyan and effectively blocked Pashinian's appointment to the job of interim prime minister. The demonstrators oppose the ruling Republican party. As a result, the parliamentary vote is turning into a showdown.

"It was emphasised that resolving the political crisis in Armenia must take place exclusively through legal means in the framework of the current constitution", the Kremlin said. Opponents said the new system would have allowed Sargsyan to remain Armenia's leader indefinitely.

Russian border guards patrol Armenia's border with Turkey and Iran. "It is also a flagrant rejection of the new political reality in Armenia", Richard Giragosian, director at Yereban-based Regional Studies Centre, told Reuters.

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Demonstrations resume in Armenia following opposition leader's call