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Days of Mass Protests in Armenia
25 April 2018, 03:17 | Myrtle Vega
Days of Mass Protests in Armenia
Police took up positions in the centre of the Armenian capital on Wednesday to monitor a protest against the ruling elite as the acting prime minister suggested new parliamentary elections to defuse the political crisis. Upon hearing of his resignation, protesters in Yerevan shouted in jubilation, auto horns honked, and Armenian news outlets showed pictures of men dancing in the streets.
"If people will bestow on me this responsibility, I'll assume the responsibility", Pashinyan said.
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday said he was ready to lead the country after the shock resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian following eleven days of protests against his rule.
This year's march national commemoration march in Armenia's capital was different: The crowds were triumphantly led by an opposition leader who a day earlier had managed to push Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan out of office.
"The fight is not over!", said 21-year-old Susana Adamyan, one of the demonstrators, who was clutching a placard calling on people to take a stand as policemen looked on. Almost 200 people were detained, including Pashinyan who was "forcibly taken", The Guardian reported.
Many Armenians said they felt mixed emotions because the impoverished country's future was uncertain.
"The protests were only one step on the road to greater democracy and a more liberal system", she said. For years, he had promised not to run for either president or prime minister after his second term.
Deeply disliked by the Armenians, Sargsyan ruled for two presidential terms, winning in largely rigged elections in 2008 and 2013.
"It is very unlikely for a prime minister to take the office in Armenia, which is nearly entirely dependent on Russian Federation in terms of military security and stability of its very poor economy", Oktay Tanrisever, a professor in the International Relations Department of Turkey's Middle East Technical University, told Anadolu Agency.
On April 17, Armenia's parliament - which is dominated by the ruling Republican Party - elected Sargsyan as prime minister.
"The coming days represent a historic moment for the people of Armenia and its elected leaders, as they embark on the process of forming a new government", State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in the statement. The ministry said Russian Federation is following developments in Armenia closely and wishes the country a smooth and peaceful political transition.
Pashinyan said that the negotiations should discuss the transfer of power without shocks after the announced resignation of Sargsyan. "I am fulfilling your demand", Sargsyan wrote to his country's citizens in a statement of resignation on his official website.
Karen Karapetyan, the most recent Armenian Prime Minister other than Sargsyan, whose improper two-week tenure shouldn't be counted as a Prime Minister, has stepped in as the acting Prime Minister. We have a stronger guarantee, a guarantee of the people and the diaspora.
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