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Wednesday 23 May 2018

Protests as talks on Armenia’s political future called off

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian called on supporters to take to the streets.

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian
Protest leader Nikol Pashinian

By Yuras Karmanau

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of the Armenian capital after talks between the opposition and the acting prime minister were called off.

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian had been expected to sit down for talks with acting PM Karen Karapetian to discuss a political transition after prime minister Serzh Sargsyan abruptly stepped down on Monday amid massive anti-government protests.

Mr Karapetian is an ally of Mr Sargsyan, who ruled Armenia for 10 years, and the opposition insists he step down soon to make way for a new premier appointed by a new parliament.

The talks on Wednesday were supposed to discuss that transition.

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Serzh Sargsyan abruptly stepped down on Monday

Mr Karapetian said in a statement that the talks with Mr Pashinian were cancelled after the opposition came forward with unspecified “unilateral demands”.

Mr Pashinian called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest.

About 5,000 people marched in the centre of Yerevan, blocking traffic and chanting “Join us!”

“We will not allow authorities to steal our victory,” Mr Pashinian told supporters. “There will be more of us here with every day until we take power.”

Press Association

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