YEREVAN — Protests aimed at preventing former Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian from retaining power have entered a fourth day, with organizers calling for strikes and boycotts as parliament prepares to elect him prime minister.
Hundreds of people blocked streets in the center of Yerevan on April 16 with Nikol Pashinian, the main organizer of the protests, calling for more large-scale “civil disobedience actions” that would paralyze traffic in the Armenian capital.
Their goal is to disrupt a planned session of parliament on April 17, during which lawmakers are expected to elect Sarkisian as prime minister.
The protesters clogged Marshal Bagramian Avenue, which leads to the National Assembly building, stopping traffic in the process. Lines of riot police stopped the crowd from advancing further toward parliament.
“The time has come to liberate Armenia’s citizens,” Pashinian, the outspoken head of the opposition group Civil Contract, shouted repeatedly through a megaphone.
“With this minor inconvenience we are trying to save you from a greater inconvenience called Serzh Sarkisian,” he added, urging the protesters to remain peaceful.