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Armenian police disperse opposition protesters camping out in capital

Armenian police disperse opposition protesters camping out in capital

Armenian police early Saturday morning dispersed a protest by a few hundred opposition supporters who had been camping out in the capital for more than a week.
The police moved in before 7 a.m. (0300GMT) and began forcing protesters onto buses. A few clashes broke out on the central Yerevan square.
The opposition has protested the results of the Feb. 19 presidential election results and tried to force a new vote.
Officials said Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian _ the favored successor of outgoing President Robert Kocharian _ won the vote outright. But supporters of opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian have rejected the results, citing fraud.
Daily protests on a large square in central Yerevan have drawn tens of thousands of people. Several hundred have remained overnight, warming themselves over campfires and sleeping in tents.
Ter-Petrosian, a former president of Armenia, appealed to the Constitutional Court on Friday to overturn the results.
The observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said there were concerns about the vote count, but issued a generally positive assessment.
The standoff has raised concerns of instability in the poor Caucasus nation at the junction of the energy-rich Caspian Sea region and southern Europe, with Russia and Iran nearby.


Updated : 2021-03-03 20:35 GMT+08:00