Thousands of protesters shut down Armenia's capital, dozens injured in clashes

Thousands of protesters shut down Armenia's capital, dozens injured in clashes

Thousands of protesters shut down Armenia's capital, dozens injured in clashes

The protest erupted after former President Serzh Sargsyan was sworn in as prime minister on Tuesday.

For a time, the tactic worked and thousands of protesters were able to easily pass through police cordons. Authorities said 46 people - including six police - sought medical help.

The police went on to warn the demonstrators to disperse or face a further use of force. "The other victims suffered light wounds and will be released from hospital later on the day".

Supporters of "My Step" initiative led by MP Nikol Pashinyan blocked the entrance to the Yerevan municipality. He received first aid from the medics and returned to the demonstrators.

Serzh Sargsyan's ruling Republican Party and their junior coalition partners Armenian Revolutionary Federation hold a comfortable majority in the parliament and no electoral hurdles are expected on Sargsyan's path to the premiership. He proposed to block the central streets at night, and also to begin blocking streets and roads in the regions of the country.

His calls were answered by several thousand people who flocked to the parliament building. 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. Prior to the constitutional reform that followed the 2015 referendum, Armenian presidents were elected by direct and universal suffrage. Yet the country's inherently volatile politics and strategic position make any reprieve fragile at best, as evidenced by the growing protests against Sargsyan's nomination as prime minister in the capital, Yerevan.*.

On Tuesday, the Armenian parliament will vote on the nation's new prime minister.

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