April 21, 2018 - 23:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - For 9 days in row Armenian opposition continues holding mass protests against the ex-president Serzh Sargsyan as a new Prime Minster of the country.
On April 20, during the strike in Republic Square, the leader of Civil Contract Party and opposition fraction Way Out, Nikol Pashinyan urged the protesters to start demonstrations from one of the districts of Yerevan starting from 11:00, April 21. Since morning inhabitants of different cities of Armenia including: Armavir, Ashtarak, Etchmiadzin, Vanadzor, Kapan, Spitak etc. joined the protests. People living in villages also took part in the movement periodically trying to block the rods to the cities.
In Yerevan, the protesters divided into several groups. One of the groups lead by Pashinyan walked through different administrative districts of the capital encouraging people to join the movement. Other groups of people were blocking streets in different parts of the city. The demonstrators were able to suspend the central Mashtots Avenue for the longest amount of time. The passing vehicles were joining the protesters by blocking the streets.
During the demonstrations there were many conflicts between the protesters and the police. This video shows how the police breaking the vehicles blocking the streets.
In the afternoon of April 21, on the road connecting Yerevan and Artashat one of the reporters of Azatutyun radio station, Arus Hakobyan was attacked. According to the announcement released by the press, individuals in civilian clothes used violence against her injuring the reporter. During live broadcasting by Azatutyun station, Hakobyan announced that the police who witnessed the violent actions took no actions to prevent the situation.
As of 17:00, 102 participants of the demonstrations were taken to police stations in Yerevan. By 18:00 protesters from different parts of Yerevan as well as from other cities arrived to the Republic Square where another strike started at 19:00. Earlier the Armenian president, Armen Sarkissian urged Nikol Pashinyan to meet for a dialogue in answer to which Pashinyan invited Sarkissian to the Republic Square. The president arrived to the Square for a quick conversation with Pashinyan. After about 10 minutes long conversation, the president made no comments about the further actions only stating that he will be inviting the press to his office.
Pashinyan later told details about his conversation with the president. According to the opposition leader, he told to the president that the only way to resolve his concerns is the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan. When the president asked “is there nothing to negotiate about?”, Pashinyan answered that they are ready to negotiate only the peaceful resignation of the Prime Minister. Pashinyan also reported that the President asked where and how he sees these negotiations happening to which the opposition leader answered that the negotiations can be possible to be conducted in a neutral place e.g. in the Marriott hotel. In case of Serzh Sargsyan, Pashinyan cannot invite him to the Republic Square as he is not sure if he will be able to control the situation. And Pashinyan himself refused to go to the government building.
“I clearly stated that the agenda may include only one single point of passing the power to the people without major shocks; there can be no other questions.”
The demonstrations in Yerevan are being held since April 13. On April 17, the Armenian parliament where the leading party has a majority, elected Serzh Sargsyan for the role of the new PM.
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan made an announcement urging Nikol Pashinyan to have a political dialogue in order to avoid irreversible losses. Pashinyan announced that they are ready to discuss only the terms of PM’s resignation.
The demonstrations in Yerevan against the ex-president Serzh Sargsyan are being held since April 13. The opposition accuses Sargsyan in inefficient governance of the country and deterioration of the economic situation. On April 16, the protesters tried entering the parliament building however the police prevented their actions. During the mass actions dozens of people were injured. The following day the opposition announced about starting a velvet revolution in Armenia.