Clashes between police and protesters in Yerevan injure 46


Armenia's former president Serzh Sarkisian was Tuesday elected prime minister in a move the opposition says is created to extend his chokehold on power despite protests in the impoverished country. "We continue our tactics, move erratically and blocked streets", said Pashinyan reporters on Tuesday.

Armenian lawmakers elected the prime minister for the first time in Armenia's history after the Constitution was amended and Armenia changed its form of government and handed more powers to the prime minister.

Authorities said 46 people including six police and opposition leader Pashinyan required medical help.

"All detained individuals are suspected of committing administrative offenses", he said.

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Standing in front of the barbed wire with a black eye, his right hand bandaged, Pashinyan urged the protesters to keep control of Baghramyan Avenue overnight and begin blockading all the streets leading to the National Assembly building.

Security forces clad in full riot gear used batons and stun grenades against the crowd when it attempted to break through a police cordon several hundred meters away from the parliament building.

Pashinian suffered injuries to his hands and right eye and was rushed to hospital in a police vehicle. Opposition protests against Serzh Sargsyan being elected as Prime Minister․. And he again accused Sarkisian of breaking his 2014 pledge not to extend his rule if Armenia becomes a parliamentary republic.

Some built barricades using cast-iron benches and metal trash cans.

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The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under a new system of government.

A constitutional referendum in 2015 saw Armenia switch to a parliamentary system, reducing the position of president to an essentially ceremonial role.

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. The protests a decade ago drew tens of thousands of supporters of Sargsyan's defeated rival Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, ending in bloody clashes that claimed the lives of 10 people, after which a 20-day state of emergency was imposed.

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