Thousands of anti-government demonstrators continued to protest against the rise in electricity prices in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Wednesday.
More than 9,000 Armenians marched towards the presidential palace as they vowed to continue the protest until the government reverses its decision to hike power tariffs, reported AFP. Mass protestors, mostly young activists, spent a second night and third day on Marshal Bagramian Avenue in a continuing standoff with riot police.
Armenia's president Serge Sarkisian has invited the leaders of the protests to talk over the issue, but, they declined to meet him and instead asked him to reverse the hikes immediately, according to RF/ERL Armenian service. Police dispersed the crowd using water cannons on Tuesday and detained more than 200 people.
"We are not in a hurry. We have one month and ten days," one of the protest leaders, Vaghinak Shushanian, told RF/ERL.
Mass protests, led by civic group No To Plunder, erupted in Yerevan on Friday after Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission hiked the prices of electricity by over 16 percent on June 17, according to Arka news agency. The daytime electricity price for Armenian households will rise from 42 drams to 49 drams (10 U.S. cents) per kilowatt/hour.
Electric protestors are also getting support from the country's opposition parties. "There is nothing impossible, the same commission can cancel its own decision. We still have time to discuss and revise the decision before August 1," opposition lawmaker Tevan Poghosyan said, according to Akra news agency.
The country's formerly Soviet ally Russia, meanwhile, warned against a political instable situation in the country. "We are very closely monitoring what is going on there and hope the situation will be settled in the near future in strict accordance with the law and that there will be no violations of the law," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Azatutyun Armenia.