Armenians protest leader's plan to stay in power

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Thousands of people have jammed into a central square in the Armenian capital, protesting new government changes that could keep former President Serzh Sarkisian in power.

The ruling Republican party of Armenia nominated Serzh Sargsyan, who on April 9 had concluded his 10-year tenure as president of the country.

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We are going to block the building of the National Assembly in four-five directions at 8:15 on Tuesday, Armenian MP Nikol Pashinyan stated during a rally in downtown Yerevan. He will operate under a new political system that sees the president's powers weakened and the prime minister taking a dominant role.

Pashinyan on Sunday had called on people to block Yerevan's bridges, streets, and subway on Monday. Police urged protesters not to violate public order.

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Opposition politicians say the shift to a parliamentary republic with a powerful prime minister has been created to increase Serzh Sarkisian's grip on power in the impoverished Moscow-allied country.

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