Armenian opposition leader calls for more protests from Sunday

Kremlin hopes situation in Armenia to be resolved by constitutional means

Accused of a power grab by the opposition, the country's leader Serzh Sarkisian resigned this week as the country's new prime minister after serving as president for a decade.

In the streets of Yerevan, flag-draped demonstrators blocked intersections, sang songs, played music and chanted slogans accusing the ruling party of clinging to power against the people's will.

The HHK holds 58 seats in Armenia's 105-member parliament. So far, only Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, who has led the street protests, has been nominated to the post.

HHK now look increasingly likely to back Pashinian in the May 1 vote.

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Pashinyan said the opposition would probably boycott any snap parliamentary election unless parliament made him the interim prime minister.

"The Secretary General spoke with the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sargsyan this morning". Another seven seats belong to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) faction, which on April 26 said it was withdrawing form its coalition with HHK.

"[Acting PM and ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Vice Chairman] Karen Karapetyan also is in telephonic conversations, negotiations with various countries. On his way to that post, Pashinyan relies on people's support and behind-the-scenes arrangements with other leading political forces of Armenia, the ones he is ready to talk with not in the presence of mass media", Khalatyan said.

"I've just rounded up a meeting with my allies and we took a strategic decision regarding a second round of the velvet revolution", Pashinian said. "We'll continue until we reach victory".

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"We want a guarantee that such an election would be really free, really transparent and really democratic", Pashinyan said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan have taken similar action to acheive what much of the world views as dictatorships.

The United States continues to monitor closely the situation in Armenia, said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement, late on Saturday.

However, according to analysts, Sargsyan's resignation has unsettled Russian interests in Armenia. "It is also a flagrant rejection of the new political reality in Armenia", Richard Giragosian, director at Yereban-based Regional Studies Centre, told Reuters.

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