All entrances to the building housing several Armenian ministries remained blocked for around 90 minutes, with the protesters not allowing their employees to leave it. Some of them watched the action from the building’s balconies or looked out of office windows.
Ishkhan Saghatelian, a deputy parliament speaker leading the crowd, urged the civil servants to “join the people” campaigning for Pashinian’s removal from power. “Nobody can threaten to fire you,” Saghatelian said through a loudspeaker.
“We must show every day that Nikol has no power in Armenia,” he went on, appealing to the crowd.
Riot police warned the protesters that the blockade is illegal but did not try to disperse them. They similarly refrained from using force when the opposition surrounded the building of the Yerevan mayor’s office on Wednesday.
After the blockade, the protesters marched back to the city’s France Square, the scene of daily rallies and a tent camp set up by Armenia’s two main opposition groups on May 1.
Earlier in the day, groups of young opposition activists again entered university campuses in the capital and urged students to join the opposition push for regime change. Six of them were detained after blocking a street intersection in downtown Yerevan.
Opposition leaders also organized fresh processions of cars that drove slowly through various parts of the city to try to drum up greater popular support for the campaign.
Saghatelian said the campaign will continue until Pashinian agrees to step down.
He and other opposition leaders pledged earlier to install an interim government of technocrats that will run Armenia for at least one year before holding fresh general elections. They did not specify who would head it.
Pashinian, who is accused by the opposition of planning to make sweeping concessions to Azerbaijan, has rejected demands for his resignation. The prime minister and his allies say they received a popular mandate to continue to govern the country in last year’s parliamentary elections.