Vahagn Khachatryan: Serzh Sargsyan deceives expectations of Armenians

Thousands Participate in “Reject Serzh Sarkisian” Rally

Protest against ex-leader's move in Armenia

Several thousand people in Yerevan protested against the nomination of former president Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister under a new parliamentary political system.

Opposition demonstrators blockaded government buildings in Armenia's capital Tuesday as parliament was set to confirm the pro-Moscow former president as the real power in the country.

The protests also saw their first violence, with several clashes between police and protesters.

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Authorities said 46 people including six police and opposition leader Pashinyan required medical help.

Protests led by Armenian opposition MP and leader of Civil Contract Party Nikol Pashinyan were held in the Amenian capital city Yerevan on Monday.

Meanwhile, the national police issued a written appeal to Pashinian saying that the protests will be forcibly broken up if he continues defy their warnings. The outspoken government critic and newspaper editor was sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of helping organize mass protests over Serzh Sarkisian's 2008 presidential election that left 10 dead and more than 200 injured.

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Pashinian, who was injured in the face and arms, was briefly taken to hospital.

Police blocked their way with barbed wire and used batons, as well as stun and sound grenades, to disperse the protesters. The "civil disobedience" actions began early in the morning and quickly attracted thousands of demonstrators, many of them university students.

Sarkisian was first elected in 2008 in the South Caucasus country of about 3 million people and served two terms, stepping down when the new president, Armen Sarkisian - no relation to Serzh - was inaugurated on April 9. This was stated by the leader of the movement, the Deputy of the Armenian Parliament Nikol Pashinyan, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.

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While presidential votes have typically been contentious affairs in Armenia, Sarkissian's election was initially met with comparative shrugs, and not just because the real power will now shift to the prime minister's office, which Sargsyan is widely expected to slide into.

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