Armenian police detain 3 opposition leaders and about 200 protesters

ARMENIA (OBSERVATORY) –¬†Armenian police arrested three opposition leaders and detained about 200 protesters on Sunday, drawing criticism from the European Union after protesters demanded new Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian to leave.

The 63-year-old is accused of clinging to power after being appointed prime minister this month after a decade as president. Tens of thousands of dissidents marched through the capital, Yerevan, closing streets in the city center and organizing sit-ins.

The protests, yet peaceful, threaten to destabilize Russia’s main ally in a turbulent region that is witnessing a long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. If it succeeds in achieving its goal, it would be a rare example of implementing reforms by popular force in the former Soviet Union.

Opponents accuse Sarkisian of the country of about three million people for a very long time and very close to Russia, which has military bases within Armenia, as well as little effort to eradicate corruption.