Protests as talks on Armenia's political future called off

Protests as talks on Armenia's political future called off
Armenian protest leader Nikol Pashinian, second left, leads a march to attend a memorial service at the monument to the victims of mass killings by Ottoman Turks, to commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the massacre in Yerevan, Armenia. Pic: Tigran Mehrabyan/PAN Photo via AP

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of the Armenian capital after talks between the opposition and the acting prime minister were called off.

Protest leader Nikol Pashinian had been expected to sit down for talks with acting PM Karen Karapetian to discuss a political transition after prime minister Serzh Sargsyan abruptly stepped down on Monday amid massive anti-government protests.

Mr Karapetian is an ally of Mr Sargsyan, who ruled Armenia for 10 years, and the opposition insists he step down soon to make way for a new premier appointed by a new parliament.

The talks today were supposed to discuss that transition.

Mr Karapetian said in a statement that the talks with Mr Pashinian were cancelled after the opposition came forward with unspecified "unilateral demands".

Mr Pashinian called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest.

About 5,000 people marched in the centre of Yerevan, blocking traffic and chanting "Join us!"

"We will not allow authorities to steal our victory," Mr Pashinian told supporters. "There will be more of us here with every day until we take power."

PA

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