Armenia's Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian resigned today after a mass protest stating his election and assumption of power was seen as a blatant grab of power by the opposition party. Protesters in the capital, Yerevan, accused him of holding on to power and demanded his resignation. The prime minister walked out after Pashinian made it clear he would only discuss Sargsyan's resignation.
The leader, Serzh Sargsyan, served as president for 10 years, until term limits forced him to step down this month.
Under a revised constitution, the prime minister now holds most power in the tiny southern Caucasus nation, while the presidency has become largely ceremonial. Police released Nikol Pashinyan, a lawmaker regarded as the main opposition leader, on Monday.
Prosecutors had said that Pashinyan and two other opposition politicians "were detained as they were committing socially unsafe acts".
"I know that after this, Armenian people understand that they can [bring about political change]", she told VOA's Armenian Service.
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Protest leader "Nikol Pashinian was right". It is not for me.
"I am leaving the post of the country's leader, " Sarkisian said in a statement through his press men few days after he took office. The National Assembly must now appoint the people's candidate for prime minister.
Meanwhile, the government of Armenia tendered its resignation, which was immediately ratified by Armania's president, Armen Sarkissian, who played an interesting role during the protests over the weekend by going to Republic Square and after walking among the protesters, meeting with Pashinyan.
"The street movement is against my tenure".
According to one young Armenian demonstrator, Sargsyan's his resignation alone represents a political benchmark for the small southern Caucuses nation.
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It seemed unlikely that the elevation of Karapetyan would placate the protesters, who oppose the ruling elite as a whole.
"The peaceful "velvet" revolution can not be left unfinished".
Pashinyan said his meeting with Karapetyan will focus on the "government transition agenda".
The developments in Armenia have already been commented on by Russian officials. A spokesman for the Armenian Defense Ministry told The Associated Press that this was a peacekeeping force that was now stationed in Yerevan. Moscow, which has two military bases in Armenia, was closely watching events.
The Kremlin official added that Russian Federation considered the developments in the Caucasian country a domestic issue. As for snap parliamentary elections, Pashinyan said that the vote should take place "within the soonest possible time".
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