Video: Armenian PM Sarkisian Resigns, Thousands Celebrate In Yerevan
23 April, 2018, 22:00
Large anti-government protests began almost two weeks ago, after the outgoing president, Sargsyan, was nominated as the ruling party's candidate for prime minister.
The protests came in reaction to Sargsyan's appointment as prime minister earlier this month, after he had already served as president for a decade.
Led by opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, various parties and civil groups took to the streets.
"The situation has several solutions, but I won't adopt any of m".
These were the words uttered by Nikol Pashinyan, the firebrand protest leader at a mass rally in Yerevan's Republic Square just an hour or so after the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan as the country's prime minister.
The protests which toppled Sarksyan lasted for 11 days and saw tens of thousands of protesters march through Yerevan and other towns, blocking streets and staging sit-ins that disrupted daily life. "I am fulfilling your demand", Sarkisian said in a statement on the prime minister's website.
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) - The leader of major political protests that have gripped the Armenian capital for more than a week was arrested Sunday, while the streets of Yerevan echoed with blaring vehicle horns as protesters tried a new technique for expressing opposition. After his release, Pashinyan joined protesters on streets of Yerevan: "Everyone knows that we have won!" he has chanted. Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetian announces Sargsyan will succeed him.
After ruling Armenia with a firm hand for a decade, Armenian's leader bows to people power. "Congratulations, victorious people", Pashinyan posted on Facebook.
"Russia does not interfere in the internal affairs of its allies". Moscow, which has two military bases in Armenia, was closely watching events. If new people come to power in Armenia, they will take this fact into account and try to distance themselves from Moscow.
Beginning April 13, protesters swarmed daily around the government offices in Yerevan, denouncing what they said was an unethical power grab and government corruption.
-April 18: Smaller protests spread to a few other Armenian cities. I leave the helm of the state and resign as Prime Minister of Armenia. The quicker they recognize this fact, the better it will be for Armenia and Artsakh.
Formerly Armenia's president, Sargsyan spent years gradually accumulating power and changing the country's governance structure, said Richard Giragosian, director the Regional Studies Center, an independent think tank in Armenia.
After that poll, 10 people died in clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate. Pashinyan was detained shortly after, triggering the largest demonstration so far.
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