By Rashid Shirinov
The mass unrest aimed not to let Serzh Sargsyan become the prime minister of Armenia has already become commonplace in Yerevan and other cities of the country, and the riots have further intensified in the last couple of days.
Protesters, led by the head of the opposition faction Yelk Nikol Pashinyan, practically paralyzed the city center by blocking the main streets, which resulted in long traffic jams.
The number of demonstrators is growing every hour, while the police are strengthening their ranks. No wonder the unrest has lead to clashes between the protesters and the police. There was also some confrontation between car drivers and demonstrators.
“We should not fall into euphoria, but if several thousand more fellow citizens join us, we are ready to carry out a change of power,” Pashinyan said on April 16, adding that the protesters plan to block even more streets in Yerevan.
Later, he together with other activists broke into the building of the Yerevan State Base Medical College, urging students to boycott the educational process. Protesters also entered the building of the Armenian State Pedagogical University, went through all the floors and invited students to join them.
After some time, the protesters headed towards the building of the National Assembly, where clashes with police began after they did not let the activists approach the building. The police pushed the demonstrators back with the use of special means, and this resulted in injury of dozens of people. As a result of the use of stun grenades by the police, one of the activists went deaf, while several protesters were seriously injured.
In its statement for the Armenian public, the Civil Contract opposition party noted: “The police used force against peaceful demonstrators, some of whom, including MP Nikol Pashinyan, are hospitalized. We are convinced that the election of Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister will inevitably cause a crisis, so his third term in power is unacceptable.”
The latest official data says that the number of activists detained by the police on suspicion of committing administrative offenses reached 80, but this number continues to grow every hour.
During the ten years of his presidency, Sargsyan managed to make much mess and thus caused such hatred against himself in the Armenian society. However, despite the mass unrest in the streets of Yerevan and other major cities of the country, Armenian Parliament elected Serzh Sargsyan the new prime minister on April 17. Since the constitution of Armenia was previously amended, providing more powers to the prime minister, Sargsyan will continue ruling the country, thus taking the population to an even deeper swamp.
Nevertheless, the protesters have not thrown in the towel, they continue protests on the streets and even spend nights there. This is what the terrible economic and social policies by Sargsyan and his team have led to. Thousands of Armenians are engaged in unrest in Yerevan, and if the Armenian government does not learn lessons from this, the near future of the country may be owned by a civil war.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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