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Armenia's ex-president elected PM in the face of protests

Armenia's ex-president elected PM in the face of protests

All downtown streets in Yerevan continue to be paralyzed. The protesters also disrupted metro operations and stormed university campuses.

Authorities said 46 people including six police and opposition leader Pashinian sought medical help on Monday.

People oppose the appointment of former President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister. In 2015 Armenia had a constitutional referendum as a result of which the form of government has changed from semi-presidential to parliamentary. Sargsyan, whose party holds a majority in parliament, is set to be easily approved for the premiership on Tuesday.

Nikol Pashinian was briefly hospitalized with cuts and an eye injury after police stopped him and others from entering parliament on April 16, but he soon returned to the fray. Sargsyan received 77- for and 17- against votes.

"Our goal right now is to prevent Serzh Sarkisian from becoming the country's leader for a third time without violence and the use of force", said opposition leader Nikol Pashinian who led the protesters. Many followed his lead by offering police officers tulips.

The pro-Moscow politician ended his second and final presidential term last week but has been nominated by the ruling party for the post of prime minister.

He said that the trade preferences are favorable to Armenia and that they allowed the country to build up its exports to 37% of GDP.

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Reacting to the news, the crowd led by Pashinyan tried to storm the National Assembly building. Pashinyan was injured in the fracas and taken to hospital.

Pashinian spoke just three hours after scores of protesters clashed with riot police while trying to approach the parliament.

Returning to the protest scene, Pashinyan was greated by his fellow MPs from his bloc in parliament, Yelk.

This is the fifth day of protests against what opposition groups are dubbing a "power grab" by the former leader.

Reportedly, among the students taking part in the action, and police clashed. After giving a brutal beating to a number of protesters, the unidentified men got back into their cars and drove away.

"As of a political figure, he has always stood out for his disobedient views and honest criticism of the authorities, for which I have always liked him", 32-year-old Armen Ohanian told RFE/RL as he protested to keep "this vicious system from being reproduced".