Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Macron makes Time 100 as France revolts

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's rush to the polls: Erdogan calls snap election to cement his power

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France's Macron likens divisions within EU to 'civil war'

Read more

ENCORE!

Sting and Shaggy on making musical magic together

Read more

FOCUS

The citizens finding solutions to Lebanon's chronic waste crisis

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Head of UN entity probing war crimes in Syria speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

The future of work: How the gig economy is changing the jobs market

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

'France has underinvested in early childhood education for many years'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Badass': Accolades pour in for Southwest pilot who landed plane after engine failure

Read more

Armenia's ex-president set to keep power as opposition blocks govt buildings

© AFP | An Armenian police officer and a protester fall on barbed wire as police attempt to disperse opposition supporters during a rally in Yerevan on Monday

YEREVAN (AFP) - 

Opposition demonstrators blockaded government buildings in Armenia's capital Tuesday as parliament was set to confirm the pro-Moscow former president as the real power in the country.

Parliament is expected to elect ex-president Serzh Sarkisian as prime minister under a new parliamentary system of government that will allow the 63-year-old to maintain his chokehold on the country.

The ruling party pressed ahead with the vote despite opposition rallies that saw several dozen protesters hurt in clashes with police in the capital Yerevan on Monday.

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

Protesters blockaded the entrances to government buildings housing the foreign ministry and the central bank, among others, and rallies were also held in the provincial towns of Gyumri and Vanadzor.

The opposition says the new parliamentary system of government will allow Sarkisian to maintain huge influence.

Sarkisian ended his second and final presidential term last week.

"I am standing here today as a leader of the party which can ensure a harmonious cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of power," he told lawmakers ahead of the vote.

A shrewd former military officer, Sarkisian has been in charge of the landlocked South Caucasus nation of 2.9 million since winning a presidential vote in 2008.

The country's new figurehead president, Armen Sarkisian, was sworn in last week but his powers will be weaker under the new system of government.

The two men are not related.

The rallies began on Friday when more than 4,000 people took part.

Police used stun grenades on Monday as thousands took to the streets of Yerevan.

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

© 2018 AFP