20 detained as opposition protests continue in Armenia's capital


"The protests that have been taking place in Armenia in recent days are an indication of public demand for implementing systemic changes and profound reforms", the ARF statement says.

Armenia's radical opposition unleashed mass protests on April 13 against the nomination of former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's candidacy to the position of the country's prime minister. The number of detainees in police stations across Yerevan in the ongoing demonstrations reached 30 as of 11:00, YPD said. They were trying to prevent Serzh Sarkisian from chairing his first cabinet meeting as prime minister.

On Wednesday evening, more than 16,000 rallied in central Yerevan's Republic Square, vowing to mount a nationwide campaign of "civil disobedience" in opposition to the Kremlin-backed Sarkisian who was on Tuesday elected by parliament to the post of prime minister after a decade serving as president. Opponents of Serzh Sargsyan see this as an attempt to hold onto power as the country moves to a new parliamentary system of governance.

Police hauled off dozens of protesters, most of whom were later released.

The demonstrators, led by Nikol Pashinyan, were surrounded by armed police for some time, calling on to Police to join the movement.

"Police think detentions will scare us and that we will lose spirit". A day earlier, police used tear gas and stun grenades when protesters tried to break through police cordons.

The 63-year-old also held the office of prime minister from 2007 to 2008. The two men are not related.