Armenian Prime Minister Rejects Demands to Quit on 10th Day of Protests

(From Reuters)

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan rejected on Sunday opposition demands to step down, as protests against the former president’s appointment as premier extended to a 10th day.

Protesters accuse Sarksyan of clinging to power after he was appointed premier this month following 10 years as president. Tens of thousands of opponents have marched through Yerevan, blocking streets in the city center and staging sit-ins.

Under a revised constitution approved in a 2015 referendum, most state powers in the small, ex-Soviet state have shifted to the prime minister while the presidency has become a largely ceremonial post.

Sarksyan met the opposition lawmaker leading the protests, Nikol Pashinyan, in Yerevan on Sunday but left talks a few minutes after they began.

He said the opposition “did not learn the lesson of March 1”, referring to a protest rally after his re-election in 2008 when 10 people were killed in clashes with police.

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