Armenians take to the streets to call for PM's resignation

·1-min read

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Hundreds of demonstrators blocked the main streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan on Saturday to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his handling of a conflict with Azerbaijan last year.

Fighting erupted between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces on Sept. 27 and ended on Nov. 10 when a Russian-brokered peace deal introduced a ceasefire. Thousands were killed in the most bloody fighting in the region since the early 1990s.

Facing pressure to resign after ethnic Armenians lost swathes of territory, Pashinyan announced a road map he said was designed to shore up national stability and security.

Pashinyan has rejected calls to resign but said he was fully responsible for the outcome of the conflict and remained responsible for ensuring Armenia's security.

Protesters chanted "Nikol is a traitor!", "Armenia without Nikol!" and blocked some streets after an opposition rally on Freedom Square in the heart of Yerevan on Saturday.

"It doesn't matter how many people gather on the square, Nikol Pashinyan will not resign voluntarily," opposition leader Vazgen Manukyan told a crowd of protesters waving Armenian flags under a light snowfall.

Ishkhan Saghatelyan, an opposition politician, said more street protests were planned for Monday.

(Reporting by Nvard Hovhannisyan; Editing by Giles Elgood)