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Armenian Opposition Protests Enter 8th Day


Tens of thousands of Armenian opposition supporters have rallied in the capital for the eighth straight day protesting the contested results of last week's presidential election.

Protesters Wednesday flooded central Yerevan to hear opposition leaders call for the annulment of the February 19 election results. That poll gave Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan a victory over former President Levon Ter-Petrosian.

Wednesday's rally follows a massive demonstration Tuesday, with protesters setting up an encampment overnight near central Yerevan's Freedom Square.

Outgoing President Robert Kocharian, who backed candidate Sarkisyan, used a television broadcast Tuesday to warn protesters that government patience with the unsanctioned protests is wearing thin.

Sunday, Armenian police said they detained a former deputy prosecutor-general and several opposition activists, as the protests grew. Prosecutor Gagik Jhangirian was arrested a day after he was fired for joining the opposition.

Authorities said two ambassadors and a deputy foreign minister had also been fired for joining the protests.

The opposition is demanding a new election. Official results gave Mr. Sarkisyan nearly 53 percent of the vote, to just over 21 percent for Mr. Ter-Petrosian.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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