Yerevan: "Reject Serzh" Protesters Rally and Occupy Major Square

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Armenia's former president Serzh Sargsyan was nominated today for the post of prime minister, a spokesman for Republican Party of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov said.

On the evening of 13 April Nikol Pashinyan began-hour action in protest against a possible Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. As Panorama.am reporter informs, the protesters stormed the building, went to the third floor, broke the door leading to one of the recording studios and demanded a live broadcast. He announced that there would be a "transport collapse" in the capital and called on people to empty their bank accounts and come out and join the demonstrations near the building of the National Assembly. Lines of riot police stopped the crowd from advancing further toward parliament. "We can not let this happen", Pashinian, the outspoken head of the opposition group Civil Contract, said. "With this minor inconvenience we are trying to save you from a greater inconvenience called Serzh Sarkisian", Pashinian shouted repeatedly through a megaphone to the crowd. As of 16:20 Yerevan time, the protesters are still in the radio building.

According to the constitution, if elections for the prime minister fail to be held twice, the current parliament is dismissed and new parliamentary elections are scheduled.

Serzh Sargsyan was replaced by Armen Sarkissian, who was inaugurated as the fourth president of Armenia on April 9.

Sarkisian has also faced criticism from opponents who accuse the government of Armenia, which gained independence in the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union but relies on Russian Federation for aid and investment, of corruption and economic mismanagement.

Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been created to increase Serzh Sarkisian's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.

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