18:44Three Policemen Injured in Clashes With Protesters in Yerevan

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

Around 6,000 gathered in Armenia's capital on Monday in protest at what the opposition calls a power grab by former president Serzh Sarksyan and several people were injured in scuffles with police.

Police used stun grenades against protesters who sought to break through a barbed wire cordon in the center of the capital Yerevan in an effort to get to the parliament building. Sargsyan, whose party holds a majority in parliament, is set to be easily approved for the premiership on Tuesday.

The protesters took to the streets after opposition leader Pashinian called on Armenians to stage rallies to prevent Sarkisian's political transition.

Despite the protests, Serzh Sargsyan was nominated for PM by the ruling Republican Party on Saturday.

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The protesters were encouraged to act by Armenian MP Nikol Pashinyan, leader of the opposition Civil Contract party.

Some protesters chanted "Armenia without Serzh" and "Serzh is a liar".

Since Monday morning, the demonstrators have blocked numerous streets in downtown Yerevan. The new system sees the president's powers weakened and the prime minister taking a dominant role.

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. The Constitution of Armenia was changed, transforming it from presidential to a parliamentary state.

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