Armenian PM Serzh Sarksyan resigns after days of street protests

YEREVAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan said on Monday he would resign to help maintain peace in the ex-Soviet republic following daily street protests since before he took up the post on April 17.

Sarksyan, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had served as Armenia's president for a decade until earlier this month and had faced accusations of clinging to power when parliament voted for him to take up the post of prime minister.

Earlier on Monday pressure on the 63-year-old to quit increased sharply when unarmed Armenian soldiers joined the anti-government protests in the capital Yerevan, which first began on April 13.

See images of the massive street protests:

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Armenians take to streets in protest
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Armenians take to streets in protest
Law enforcement officers detain a man as participants of the rally protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister and demand an early parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure
YEREVAN, ARMENIA - APRIL 23: People take part in a march protest against the election of former Armenian President Sargsyan as the Prime Minister by the National Assembly of Armenia on April 23, 2018 in Yerevan, Armenia. Mass march protests and meetings against the acting PM Serz Sargsyan continue on the eleventh day. (Photo by Vahram Baghdasaryan /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People march during a protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan, Armenia April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A policeman holds the face of a participant as people protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister and demand an early parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia April 21, 2018. Picture taken April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People march during a protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister in Yerevan, Armenia April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure
Law enforcement officers disperse the crowd as participants of the rally protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister and demand an early parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure
Participants react during a rally to protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister and demand an early parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure
A man lies on the ground near law enforcement officers as participants of the rally protest against the appointment of ex-president Serzh Sarksyan as the new prime minister and demand an early parliamentary election in Yerevan, Armenia April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure
People celebrate after the release of the leader of Armenia's mass anti-government protests Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on April 23, 2018. (Photo by KAREN MINASYAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAREN MINASYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People celebrate after the release of the leader of Armenia's mass anti-government protests Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on April 23, 2018. (Photo by KAREN MINASYAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read KAREN MINASYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
YEREVAN, ARMENIA - APRIL 23: A soldier holds an Armenian flag during a march protest against the election of former Armenian President Sargsyan as the Prime Minister by the National Assembly of Armenia on April 23, 2018 in Yerevan, Armenia. Mass march protests and meetings against the acting PM Serz Sargsyan continue on the eleventh day. (Photo by Vahram Baghdasaryan /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
YEREVAN, ARMENIA - APRIL 23: People protest against the election of former Armenian President Sargsyan as the Prime Minister by the National Assembly of Armenia on April 23, 2018 in Yerevan, Armenia. Mass march protests and meetings against the acting PM Serz Sargsyan continue on the eleventh day. (Photo by Vahram Baghdasaryan /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"I got it wrong," Sarksyan said in a statement issued by his office.

"In the current situation there are several solutions, but I won't choose any of them. It's not my style. I am quitting the country's leadership and the post of prime minister of Armenia."

Under a revised constitution, the prime minister now holds most power in the impoverished southern Caucasus nation, while the presidency has become largely ceremonial. (Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan in Yerevan Writing by Andrew Osborn Editing by Gareth Jones)

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