Armenian opposition leader announces 'velvet revolution' amid protests

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Many in the crowd of protesters said Pashinian's call for the demonstrations to remain nonviolent helped convince them to join in. Footage from the day's events also shows a tussle between protesters and police at a Yerevan metro station. At least eight people died in clashes with the authorities.

Serzh Sarkisian had promised in 2014 that he would "not aspire" to the post of prime minister if Armenia switched from a presidential to a parliamentary system as a result of the referendum.

Thousands of opposition supporters have blocked traffic in the Armenian capital over a recent change of government that the opposition sees as a move by the ex-president to stay in power.

The protests have been mainly held at the French Square in downtown Yerevan.

Sarksyan's ally Armen Sarkissian was sworn in as president last week after being elected by parliament and in March Sarksyan said he would become prime minister to allow him to share the benefit of his experience.

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This is the fifth day of protests against what opposition groups are dubbing a "power grab" by the former leader. He did not say how many activists are in the police.

For a time, the tactic worked and thousands of protesters were able to easily pass through police cordons. 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.*. "I am ready to pursue such a responsibility", said Sargsyan. That was soon followed by the news that the Republicans and their partners, ARF Dashnaksutyun, unanimously ruled to formally introduce Sargsyan as their coalition's nominee for the PM's office.

The politician called to block tomorrow all streets leading to the National Assembly.

Protesters surrounded several government buildings Tuesday afternoon, with police attempting to forcibly remove them, according to EVN Report. Pashinyan was injured in the fracas and taken to hospital. Police urged protesters not to violate public order.

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