The Armenian president Robert Kocharian has declared a 20-day state of emergency, following clashes between police and activists on the eleventh day of protests in the capital, Yerevan, over a contested election.
News reports say at least one person died as police broke up Saturday's demonstration in the city center. Riot police fired tear gas and automatic weapons into the air to disperse thousands of protesters. Police and protesters had clashed earlier in the morning when police raided the city's Freedom Square to clear out demonstrators.
Tens of thousands of activists have held large-scale daily protests in Yerevan, following the February 19th presidential election. They said the official results, which handed a landslide victory to Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan, were rigged.
The top European vote-monitoring group, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, today condemned the government's use of force against peaceful demonstrators.
Armenian opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian says he was placed under house arrest this Saturday morning.
Friday, Mr. Sarkisyan announced plans to form a coalition government with the leader of another opposition movement, the Rule of Law party. He signed an agreement with the party's leader Artur Baghdassarian appointing Baghdassarian the secretary of the Presidential National Security Council.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers say the election mostly met international standards.