Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has resigned after week-long protests against his ten-year rule.

His resignation came as Armenian soldiers joined protests against him in the country’s capital Yerevan today. Hundreds of uniformed soldiers had joined anti-government demonstrators on the 11th consecutive day of protests over an alleged power grab by Sargsyan.

In a statement posted on his website, Sargsyan said he was giving in to protester demands to step down:

The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets for the second week today after opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was arrested last week.

Pashinyan’s arrest came after a heated televised debate with the former prime minister, who stormed out of the talks.

In his statement, Sargasyan added:

This is the last time I will speak to you as the head of the government,”

Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong. The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them. That is not mine. I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of Prime Minister.

Protests broke out on 12 April, days before the country’s parliament officially confirmed Mr Sargsyan as Prime Minister.

Sargsyan had just finished two terms as the former Soviet country’s president, and expanded the constitutional powers of the premiership, making the presidency a ceremonial role.

Sargsyan was first elected as president of the impoverished Moscow-allied country in 2008. After that poll, ten people died in clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate. He was re-elected in 2013, with his second and final term ending on 9 April.

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The full statement read:

Dear countrymen,

I am addressing all citizens of the Republic of Armenia

The elderly and my dearest youth,

Men and women,

I am addressing those who stood on the streets day and night with “Reject Serzh” calls and those who were reaching their offices with difficulty and carrying out their duty without complaining,

I am addressing those who were following live broadcast for days and those who were ensuring public order for day and night manly,

I am addressing our courageous soldiers and officers who are standing at the border, I am addressing my brothers in arms,

I am addressing my fellow party-men, all political forces and politicians,

I am addressing you for the last time as leader of the country.

Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong. The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them. That is not mine. I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of Prime Minister.

The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand.

Peace, harmony and reasoning for our country.

Thank you.