Opposition resumes protests after talks fail: Armenia

Talks aimed at political transition after Armenian prime minister announced his resignation amid days of protests
YEREVAN, Armenia: Armenian opposition took to the streets again on Wednesday after talks with the ruling Republican Party failed.
The talks aimed at a political transition after newly elected Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan announced his resignation amid days of protests in the country on Monday.
The acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan canceled the meeting with the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, accusing him of “unilaterally putting forward new conditions,” and suggested snap elections to resolve the tension, according to local media.
Later, the opposition began protests at the Republic Square in the capital Yerevan on the call of Pashinyan.
While the protests were in progress, Pashinyan exchanged views with the ambassadors of European Union countries in Yerevan. He is expected to meet the ambassadors of the U.S. and Russia.
In a statement released on social media, Pashinyan said they will boycott the proposed snap election under the ruling party’s conditions.
Other political parties in Armenia including Prosperous Armenia — which has the second largest group in the parliament — as well as Heritage Party and Social Democrat Party also announced their support for the protests, according to local media.
The protests erupted in Armenia following the nomination of Sargsyan as the prime ministerial candidate on April 13. They were joined by uniformed soldiers.
First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan serves as the acting premier temporarily.
After serving as Armenia’s president for two terms, Sargsyan was elected prime minister on April 17.
A 2015 referendum backed by then-President Sargsyan transferred key elements of presidential authority to the prime minister.–AA

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