January 20
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YEREVAN. – Public assemblies in Armenia are regulated by the law, but the requirements of the law have not been met in recent days, said Minister of Justice Davit Harutyunyan, at a press conference on Monday.

And commenting on Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan’s remarks regarding the tragedy that had occurred in capital city Yerevan on March 1, 2008, the minister noted as follows, in particular: “The reference to March 1 was presented in a distorted way. It’s about the lessons learned [from this tragedy]. And those very lessons push us to seek a peaceful solution. And the Prime Minister’s question to [Nikol] Pashinyan referred to whether he has learned lessons [from March 1]. Under no circumstances can this be viewed as an insinuation of using force.”

In his words, some dissatisfaction has accumulated among the Armenian public, but the authorities will inevitably find a way to communicate with the public and find a solution.

And when asked whether Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation is possible, Harutyunyan responded as follows: “We need to realize what we’re talking about, what challenges the country faces, [and] get out of the emotional level (…). We can give the answer to that question solely through sober judgments.”

Monday is the eleventh day of the mass demonstrations against ex-President Serzh Sargsyan being elected Prime Minister by the parliament.

As reported earlier, Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of “My Step” initiative—which demands Sargsyan’s resignation—opposition Civil Contract Party Political Council member, and National Assembly “Way Out” (Yelk) Faction head, had a very short talk before the media on Sunday morning.

About an hour later, riot police used force against demonstrators on a street in Yerevan and took dozens of people into custody, including Civil Contract Party members and MPs Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan, and Sasun Mikayelyan. 

Later, three of them were formally detained.

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