Armenians protest leader's plan to stay in power

Yerevan “Reject Serzh” Activists Block Mashtots Avenue

The Armenian police special unit is trying to make its way through the central streets of Yerevan which have been blocked by anti-government protesters, a Sputnik correspondent reported Tuesday. Protesters trying to block streets and traffic in the city, they are protesting against the nomination of ruling party candidate for Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.

An Associated Press reporter saw several people wounded, with at least four being taken away by ambulances, including protest leader Nikol Pashinian.

Protests in Armenia continued for a fourth straight day on April 16, growing to an estimated 10,000 people and effectively shutting down Yerevan's downtown.

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

"I proclaim today the start of a peaceful velvet revolution in Armenia", opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan told a rally in Yerevan, calling on supporters to "paralyse the work of all government agencies".

Throughout the day, Pashinyan kept stressing that "the police are our brothers" and repeatedly apologized to policemen for the inconvenience caused by the demonstrations and called on protesters not to attack police, verbally or otherwise. Opposition groups believe that the reform was carried out in order to Serzh Sargsyan was able to remain in power after his presidential term.

Xi strikes conciliatory tone on trade but offers few concessions
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he is "very thankful for President Xi of China's kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers". The Eurasia Group agreed the speech was "not a game-changer" and said it "underdelivers after all the hype from Beijing".

Armenia's opposition views the move as Sargsyan's attempt to stay in power indefinitely and has vowed to keep protesting around the clock.

He is expected to be elected by parliament on Tuesday.

According to several local media reports, riot police used batons and stun grenades against the crowd when demonstrators tried to break the police cordon blocking the way to the parliament building.

Before Pashinyan said about the transition to action, "locking" of transport and the Parliament of Armenia.

Sarkisian was first elected in 2008 in the South Caucasus country of about 3 million people and served two terms, stepping down when the new president, Armen Sarkisian - no relation to Serzh - was inaugurated on April 9.

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