Protesters continue march across Yerevan streets


Thousands of people have jammed into a central square in the Armenian capital, protesting new government changes that could keep former President Serzh Sarkisian in power. The Yerevan police used riot control methods against protesters who attempted to climb through barbed wire to make their way to the Armenian parliament.

Parliament, which is dominated by the ruling party, is to decide on Tuesday whether to install Sarkysan as prime minister.

Several thousand people blocked traffic Monday morning and camped on the streets.

On the same day, protesters led by Pashinyan seized the building of Armenia's Public Radio for around an hour.

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"Gathered here are those who want to live in freedom, those who don't want Serzh Sargsyan to become prime minister", said one of the protesters.

Earlier on Monday, the march participants broke into the building of the State Pedagogical University, chanting slogans. Some protesters began to build barricades with trash bins and benches. A shrewd former military officer, Sarkisian has been in charge of the landlocked South Caucasus nation of 2.9 million since winning a presidential vote in 2008.

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under a new parliamentary system of government. The two men are not related. Tensions in Armenia often flare up during presidential and parliamentary elections.

The National Assembly will be meeting tomorrow to elect the Prime Minister.