Sarkisian, who served as president for a decade, was last week elected as prime minister with sweeping powers, triggering the protests.
Thousands of protesters gared this Monday in Plaza de la República, in heart of Armenian capital, where seat of government is located, have shouted of joy and applauded resignation of Prime minister.
Sargsyan came to the presidency in 2008 as a result of widely criticized and challenged presidential elections, with his main opponent his former boss, the first President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosian (1991-1998) who had huge popular support.
The events in Armenia are significant, because they demonstrate that in a post-Soviet country change is possible through a peaceful, organic, grassroots movement. “I am fulfilling your demand”, the statement said. It’s not my style. “I was wrong”, he said, adding that “I am leaving the position of the head of state, and the post of Prime Minister of Armenia”. Sargsyan has riveted his statement advocating “peace, harmony and reasoning” in country, while indicating that his message is addressed to population, politicians and soldiers of Armenia.
Armenia’s 2025 dollar-denominated bond fell 0.83 cents after Sarksyan said he would resign, hitting a one-year low.
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan abruptly resigned on Monday, ceding power amid mass protests that called for his removal from office.
With Mr. Sargsyan’s political allies still firmly in control of government, it is not clear how much will change with his departure from office.
Protesters loudly celebrated Sarksyan’s resignation. The street movement was against me. Protests against the Prime Minister was headed by the Deputy of the Parliament, head of the opposition faction “elk” Nikol Pashinian.
“Nikol Pashinyan was right”, he said referring to the leader of the protests.
In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman – who spoke to reporters before Sarkisian resigned – said that Russian Federation was carefully watching events in Armenia, which has retained close ties to its former Soviet master.
Last week Putin rang Sarksyan to congratulate him on becoming premier. “This is absolutely Armenia’s domestic affair, and I think that Russian Federation will not interfere in it in any way”. Public opinion in Armenia remains hawkish on Nagorno-Karabakh, he says.
Critics accuse Sarkisian of ruling the South Caucasus nation for too long, of being too close to Russian Federation which has military bases inside Armenia, and of doing too little to root out corruption.
Hundreds of uniformed soldiers had joined anti-government demonstrators earlier on Monday on the 11th consecutive day of protests over an alleged power grab by Sargsyan.
The whereabouts of lawmaker Pashinyan were unclear after he was detained on Sunday.