Anti-government protests are continuing as of Wednesday, April 25, in the capital Yerevan. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan renewed the call to action on April 25, after talks with the ruling party to address the ongoing sociopolitical crisis were canceled. Thousands of protesters are gathering at Republic Square for the 13th consecutive day of demonstrations. Continued protests are expected in Yerevan and in other Armenian cities in the coming hours and days. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected around demonstration sites.
Demonstrations demanding that Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resign from office have been taking place daily in Yerevan since April 13, eventually leading to Sargsyan's resignation on April 23. Hundreds of protesters have been detained by police. Members of Parliament have until April 30 to submit candidates for elections to select a succeeding prime minister. The vote could take place in Parliament on May 2.
In December 2015, a controversial constitutional amendment was passed that changed Armenia's government from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic. Under the new government, the president has a largely ceremonial role while the prime minister becomes more powerful. Opponents claimed that the new system was designed to allow Sargsyan (first elected president in April 2008) to maintain control of the government following the end of his term on April 9. Opposition leaders have called for a "Velvet Revolution" in a bid to "preserve" democracy in the country.
Individuals present in Armenia, particularly in Yerevan, are advised to avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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