Accessibility links

Breaking News

Armenian Opposition Leader Arrested


Serzh Sargsyan, left, speaks with protest leader Nikol Pashinian during their meeting in Yerevan, Armenia, April 22, 2018. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

Armenia's opposition leader was arrested Sunday, hours after the country's prime minister walked out of a televised meeting between the two.

Opposition politician Nikol Pashinyan was arrested Sunday in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, as he participated in one of the demonstrations that began last week when parliament elected Serzh Sargsyan prime minister after a decade serving as president.

Critics see the move as an attempt by Sargsyan to hold on to power.

Pashinyan has said he would like the demonstrations to be the "start of a peaceful velvet revolution," a reference to the protests in 1989 that ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia.

About 15,000 people began the rallies Wednesday at Yerevan's central Republic Square, with some holding posters that read "Make a step and reject Serzh."

The meeting Sunday between Sargsyan and Pashinyan was held with the aim of ending continuing anti-government protests. Sargsyan walked out of the meeting when Pashinyan told him that he came to discuss his resignation, to which the prime minister responded, "This is blackmail."

Sargsyan was nearing the end of his second and final term as president earlier this year when the country moved from a presidential to parliamentary system, empowering the position of the prime minister, which does not face term limits. In April, Armenia's ruling party moved to appoint Sargsyan as prime minister.


Demonstrators attend a protest after parliament voted to allow former president Serzh Sarksyan to become prime minister, in Yerevan, Armenia, April 19, 2018.
Demonstrators attend a protest after parliament voted to allow former president Serzh Sarksyan to become prime minister, in Yerevan, Armenia, April 19, 2018.

About 15,000 people began the rallies Wednesday at Yerevan's central Republic Square, with some holding posters that read "Make a step and reject Serzh."

XS
SM
MD
LG