Police detain some opposition activists as protests continue in downtown Yerevan

Thousands Participate in “Reject Serzh Sarkisian” Rally

Thousands of Armenian protesters clashed with riot police in the capital city Yerevan on April 16.

The source did not provide further details on the number of the detained opposition activists and the reasons behind their detention, claiming they obtain no such information.

Serzh Sargsyan, the former president of Armenia, was elected the Prime Minister on Tuesday, local media reported.

Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been created to increase Sargsyan's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.

As the chairman of the ruling Republican Party and its nominee for the position, Armenia's last president Serzh Sargsyan is the top choice for the prime minister spot and is widely expected to win the legislative body's vote of confidence. But on Monday the country's parliament unanimously chose Mr Sargsyan for the post. The Civil Contract party PM also called upon his supporters to block streets and disrupt public transportation.

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But many Armenians see the system change as a scheme created to allow Sargsyan - who has become increasingly unpopular during his time in office - to maintain his grip on power.

Police today temporarily closed the doors of the Municipality, and minor scuffle broke out between the protesters and cops. But the Pashinian later returned - sporting a bandaged arm - and vowed to continue the demonstrations. The police said the opposition's actions were illegal but so far refrained from using force. Several hundred people sat or laid down on pavements, blocking roads leading to the parliament building and universities.

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.

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 - was inaugurated on April 9. The rallies began on Friday when more than 4,000 people took part.

Sargsyan left the presidency this year upon reaching his term limit.

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