Thousands of opposition supporters rally in Armenian capital

Yelk Party Nikol Pashinyan speaks during a protest organized by'My Step and'#merjirserjin initiatives at Liberty Square in Yerevan on Friday

Yelk Party Nikol Pashinyan speaks during a protest organized by'My Step and'#merjirserjin initiatives at Liberty Square in Yerevan on Friday

Protesters led by opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinian broke into the building Saturday and tried to get on the air but failed and retreated shortly afterward.

Around a thousand protesters staged rallies on Monday in the Armenian capital against former president Serzh Sarkisian as he moves to maintain a chokehold on power as prime minister.

Opposition activists assert that the changes were tailored specially to allow Sarkisian to continue after his two terms as president ended.

On April 14, Armenia's ruling Republican Party nominated Serzh Sargsyan for the post of prime minister. The parliament is expected to vote Tuesday on the matter.

The new system sees the president's powers weakened and the prime minister taking a dominant role.

About 10,000 people started marching toward parliament early Monday afternoon and were blocked by police using tear gas and stun grenades.

Tensions in Armenia often flare up during presidential and parliamentary elections.

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