Protests escalate over PM nomination dispute in Armenian capital

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Opposition activists also held rallies in recent weeks to protest Sarksyan's campaign to become prime minister and thousands blocked the centre of the capital Yerevan.

Armenia's former president Serzh Sargsyan has been elected a Prime Minister with 77 votes for and 17 against.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades as they clashed Monday with anti-government protesters in Armenia, leaving several people wounded, after thousands of opposition supporters began to march toward parliament in Yerevan.

Clashes with police continued on Tuesday, with at least 29 people detained, according to RFE/RL.

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The third Armenian president and the candidate for the new Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan, stated that he is ready to take the new role in the country during his interview with Russian Izvestia.

Anti-government protesters in Armenia have been urged to continue their fight.

In 2017, Pashinian set up his own party and was elected to parliament as head of the Yelk election bloc. Several hundred people sat or laid down on pavements, blocking roads leading to the parliament building and universities.

Protests are expected to grow larger after Pashinian called on people to take part in "the largest rally in Armenia's history" on Tuesday evening.

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

Authorities called on him to end the protests, which they threatened to break up by force. "With this minor inconvenience we are trying to save you from a greater inconvenience called Serzh Sarkisian", Pashinian shouted repeatedly through a megaphone to the crowd.

The spokesman for the ruling party, Eduard Sharmazanov, has dismissed the protests as "the opposition's artificial and fake agenda".

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under the new system of government. For the first time, Armenia's president was selected by the National Assembly, rather than by popular vote.

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Sargsyan left the presidency this year upon reaching his term limit.