Armenian PM resigns after 11 days of wild protests

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Under a revised constitution approved in a referendum in December 2015, most of the executive powers shifted to the prime minister while the presidency has become a largely ceremonial post.

People march during a protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan, Armenia on April 23, 2018.

"You have won, the proud citizens of Armenia!". Nikol Pashinyan was right and I was wrong. I leave country leader's office, Prime minister, "he said". The street movement is against my tenure. Armenian PM refused to continue the meeting with the opposition leader who demanded to talk only about his resignation.

Police on Monday released opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan a day after his detention, a live broadcast feed of the event on social media from Yerevan showed. "I wish our country peace, harmony and common sense", he said.

Pro-Moscow Sarkisian was elected prime minister by lawmakers last week soon after ending a 10-year stint as president, sparking outrage on the streets.

The Armenian government quickly named former Prime Minister Karen Karapetian as acting premier.

"Yesterday, I met with Serzh Sargsyan at the Marriott Hotel. Congratulations, victorious people", Pashinyan posted on Facebook.

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Peskov dismissed a question on whether Russian Federation would interfere in the crisis, which he called "exclusively an internal affair", as "absolutely inappropriate".

At time of going to press, the population of Armenia is celebrating its long awaited victory and hoping finally to establish democracy in the country.

On the eleventh day of the protests, hundreds of students, some medical students in white coats, marched arm-in-arm through the streets, holding Armenian flags.

Later that morning Pashinyan was grabbed by security forces at the latest protest rally in Yerevan and detained for over 24 hours before being released on Monday, hours before the prime minister's resignation.

Pashinyan said he had come not for dialogue but only "to discuss the conditions of your resignation and the peaceful transfer of power - without a shock", according to a transcript published by Panorama.am.

Armenia's political parties in parliament now have seven days to put forward the name of a new prime minister.

Sargsyan, 63, had served two consecutive, five-year terms as president and was unable to seek re-election by law. Demonstrators and police clash again, and 232 are reported to have been arrested.

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