Armenia PM resigns after days of mass protests

According to reports, Armenian Prime Minister Sargsyan on 23 April 2018 stepped down as prime minister following ongoing protests. [EPA]

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan said on Monday (23 April) he would resign to help maintain peace in the ex-Soviet republic following daily street protests since before he took up the post on April 17.

Sargsyan, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had served as Armenia’s president for a decade until earlier this month and had faced accusations of clinging to power when parliament voted for him to take up the post of prime minister.

Earlier on Monday pressure on the 63-year-old to quit increased sharply when unarmed Armenian soldiers joined the anti-government protests in the capital Yerevan, which first began on April 13.

Police in Armenia detain opposition leaders, protesters

Police in Armenia detained three opposition leaders and nearly 200 protesters on Sunday (22 April), drawing a rebuke from the European Union after demonstrators demanded newly appointed Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan quit.

“I got it wrong,” Sargsyan said in a statement issued by his office.

“In the current situation there are several solutions, but I won’t choose any of them. It’s not my style. I am quitting the country’s leadership and the post of prime minister of Armenia.”

Under a revised constitution, the prime minister now holds most power in the impoverished southern Caucasus nation, while the presidency has become largely ceremonial.

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