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Thousands rally for eighth day in Armenian capital over disputed election

Thousands rally for eighth day in Armenian capital over disputed election

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in the Armenian capital for an eighth day Wednesday, condemning last week's presidential election and to trying to force a new vote.
Officials said Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian won the vote outright. But supporters of opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian have rejected the result and have tried to stage round-the-clock demonstrations.
Outgoing President Robert Kocharian has warned that authorities were losing patience with the protests.
Ter-Petrosian told supporters that Sarkisian and Kocharian need to step aside so that Armenia can "return to the family of civilized nations." He predicted that authorities would give in to opposition demands in coming days.
A top Ter-Petrosian supporter, former tax agency chief Smbat Aivazian, meanwhile, was charged with "committing violence toward a government representative." No details about the charge was released.
Police said earlier this week they confiscated illegal weapons from the cars of Aivazian and former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Dzhangirian, who was also detained.
Sarkisian, meanwhile, warned that the growing number of guns and other weapons being confiscated by police was a sign of potential violence and civil unrest.
"For me, all citizens of Armenia are equal and illegal weapons are illegal, regardless of whose hands they are in," he said.
Tensions are mounting as pressure grows on the government in the poor Caucasus nation to dispel any doubts about the vote and keep the protests from gaining momentum. Western election observers have said there were concerns about the vote count, but issued a generally positive assessment.


Updated : 2020-12-04 13:22 GMT+08:00