People power prevails as Armenian leader Sargsyan resigns

People protest against the appointment of ex-president Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan

People protest against the appointment of ex-president Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan

Armenia's newly appointed prime minister has resigned following days of protests against his government, according to his website.

People march during a protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan, Armenia on April 23, 2018. "You have won, proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia". "I was mistaken. There are several solutions to the existing situation but I will not opt for any of them. I'm leaving the post of the country's leader, the Prime Minister".

Sargsyan made the announcement in a statement on his website, saying that "the movement of the streets is against my office", so he chose to leave office. "I am fulfilling your demand", he said in a statement quoted by the BBC.

The leaders of the protest, MPs Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Mikaelyan, were arrested on Sunday amid a police crackdown on a rally disrupting traffic in the capital Yerevan. "I wish this country peace, harmony and logic", his statement runs. A constitutional amendment Sargsyan backed in 2015 transformed the country from a presidential to a parliamentary republic, but he denied seeking to remain in power through a job switch even after parliament elected him premier on 17 April.

"The change of Serzh Sargsyan to any more or less sane Armenian politician will lead to the fact that this politician will also be pro-Russian".

But it's important to remember that the government in Armenia remains the same, and the new acting prime minister is an old ally of Mr Sargsyan.

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An AFP reporter saw people opening a champagne bottle and handing Pashinyan a glass on the 11th day of demonstrations in the country of 2.9 million people.

Asked if Russia would intervene, Mr Peskov said the matter was "exclusively an internal affair" and Russian action would be "absolutely inappropriate". I leave the helm of the state and resign as Prime Minister of Armenia.

For Yury Navoyan, who heads a Moscow-based Russian-Armenian association of journalists and analysts, the crisis came as "most of the population had no trust either in the authorities or in the current political system in general". They feel like they deserve a better life and a more democratic country. Pashinyan was arrested shortly afterwards.

Formerly Armenia's president, Sargsyan spent years gradually accumulating power and changing the country's governance structure, said Richard Giragosian, director the Regional Studies Center, an independent think tank in Armenia.

After that poll, 10 people died in bloody clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate.

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