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Serzh Sargsyan: Armenian PM resigns after days of protests

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Media captionThere have been scuffles as Nikol Pashinyan used to be detained

Armenian Top Minister Serzh Sargsyan has resigned after days of large-scale side road protests towards him.

Opposition supporters accused Mr Sargsyan of clinging to energy when he used to be appointed high minister final Tuesday, quickly after completing two five-year phrases as president.

“The road motion is towards my tenure. I’m satisfying your call for,” he stated in a commentary.

It used to be now not transparent when his resignation would take impact.

The announcement got here quickly after opposition chief Nikol Pashinyan used to be launched from detention. Mr Pashinyan have been arrested on Sunday after televised talks with Mr Sargsyan collapsed.

In addition to Mr Pashinyan, two different opposition politicians and a few 200 demonstrators had been held.

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AFP

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Demonstrators rallied once more within the capital Yerevan on Monday

In his commentary revealed on his web site, Mr Sargsyan stated he used to be “addressing all electorate of the Republic of Armenia… for the final time as chief of the rustic.”

“Nikol Pashinyan used to be proper. I used to be unsuitable,” he stated. “The placement has a number of answers, however I will be able to now not take any of them… I’m leaving place of business of the rustic’s chief, of high minister.”

Protesters chanted “Nikol, Nikol” within the streets on Monday and waved Armenian flags. They had been joined by means of loads of uniformed squaddies, in spite of warnings from the defence ministry that any squaddies protesting can be harshly punished.

Why had been there protests?

In 2015, Armenians voted in a referendum to shift the rustic from a presidential to a parliamentary machine, stripping powers from the president and giving them to the high minister.

The vote used to be marred by means of allegations of poll rigging and claims Mr Sargsyan sought after to easily transfer place of business after his presidency ended.

The ex-president had officially mentioned he would “now not aspire” to the high ministerial place, however on Tuesday final week the rustic’s parliament formally showed Mr Sargsyan within the submit.

Protesters poured into the streets within the days previously to take a look at to prevent the parliament from passing the measure, and clashed with police. At the day of the affirmation, Mr Pashinyan stated the demonstrations constituted a “non-violent velvet revolution”.

Who’s Serzh Sargsyan?

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EPA

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Mr Sargsyan has been criticised for his shut ties to Russia

Mr Sargsyan served two consecutive phrases as president of Armenia, beginning in 2008 and finishing on nine April this yr. His preliminary election in 2008 caused fatal clashes between the state and opposition supporters. No less than 8 folks died.

He gained a 2d five-year time period in 2013. A number of of his warring parties dropped out of the race and one candidate used to be shot in a suspected assassination strive.

Mr Sargsyan used to be additionally accused of failing to handle proceeding tensions with Azerbaijan and Turkey, in addition to well-liked poverty at house.

His executive has additionally been criticised by means of the opposition for its shut ties to Russia, whose chief Vladimir Putin additionally moved between the positions of president and high minister to handle his grip on energy.

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