Armenian PM Sarkisian resigns, protest leader Pashinian released
Photo Credit: Amos Chapple for RFE/RL

Armenian PM Sarkisian resigns, protest leader Pashinian released

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian has resigned from his post, according to a statement on his website. The statement was posted on April 23 as crowds in Yerevan and other cities protested for an 11th straight day, calling for his resignation, and followed shortly after the release of protest leader Nikol Pashinian from custody. It came less than a week after Sarkisian took office following his election as prime minister by parliament on April 17, eight days after his two-term presidency ended. His handpicked successor, Armen Sarkisian -- who is not related, was sworn in as president on April 9 after being elected by parliament. But under constitutional changes that Serzh Sarkisian pushed through in 2015, the prime minister is now more powerful than the president, who is more of a figurehead.

Sarkisian had previously said he would not seek to become prime minster, and protesters accused him of violating that pledge in order to cling to power. Pashinian "was right. I was wrong," the statement quotes Sarkisian as saying. He said there were other possible solutions to the confrontation with protesters but that he would not resort to them.


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