Velvet revolution in Armenia? Protests in progress


Фота Photolure

The mass protests are still going on in the Armenian capital. The Yerevan police are trying to clear the central avenue which has been blocked by protesters.

They also have started to bring armoured vehicles to Yerevan.

UPD The protesters have cut off the entrances to the buildings of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Justice, the State Revenue Committee and a number of other agencies.

“In Gyumri, thousands of people have taken to the streets. There is a mass strike of students in Idzhevan, the Vanadzor-Yerevan road has been closed, mass strikes are being held in Vanadzor, Kapan, Metsamor, some streets have been sealed. We are bearing witness to a revolutionary situation in Armenia, and now and here, I declare the start of a democratic, non-violent, velvet revolution,” Nicol Pashinyan, the leader of the protests, said.

Photo by Photolure

The election of a new prime minister is to take place today. On April 9, the newly elected president Armen Sarkissian dismissed the government. When the presidential term of the previous leader of the country ended, the amended text of the Constitution came into force. According to it, Armenia becomes a parliamentary republic, and power will be concentrated in the hands of a government, not a president. But the ruling coalition’s decision to nominate Serzh Sargsyan, who had already been a two-term president in the period of 2008-2018, as Prime Minister triggered a wave of protests.

Nicol Pashinyan, the leader of the Way Out opposition faction, says that the protesters will try to block all roads and entrances to the Parliament where the discussion and voting is expected to be held today.

Overnight into Tuesday the protesters started to block to cover the central streets of the capital. They were pushed away by the police; dozens were detained, about 30 protesters were reportedly injured and hospitalised.

“We are warning the organisers of the rally against carrying on the unauthorised assembly so that the police could avoid resorting to specific measures to disperse it,” the statement reads.

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