Armenian police blocks opposition march past Presidential Palace

Armenian police blocks opposition march past Presidential Palace


The Armenian police on Tuesday stopped opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian and thousands of his supporters from marching past the Presidential Palace in central Yerevan in protest against Serzh Sargsyan’s “false’ inauguration for a second presidential term.

Clashes occurred between protesters and riot police standing in several rows to block the way towards 26 Baghramyan Avenue, the residence of the president.

Earlier, Hovannisian announced they would go to the Genocide Memorial at Tsitsernakaberd with candles lit in their hands for “the new dawn of Armenia”. He appeared to have yielded to people’s pressure for the march to be staged along Baghramyan Avenue.

Hovannisian protests the reelection of President Sargsyan, who was officially sworn in for a second five-year presidential term earlier on Tuesday.

Part of the protesters led by Hovannisian chose to take another route towards Tsitsernakaberd bypassing Baghramyan Avenue. Another, apparently hardline group of opposition activists, including Nikol Pashinyan, Andrias Ghukasyan and others, however, continued the standoff with the police not far from the presidential compound.

Ghukasyan announced the start of a sit-in urging all those who can “resist the police without force” to stay. “Those who cannot, leave,” said the former candidate.