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Thousands rally in Armenia's capital to protest proposed constitutional reform

  • Protesters hold Armenian flags during an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reform that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Vahan Stepanyan, PAN Photo)

    Protesters hold Armenian flags during an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reform that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Vahan Stepanyan, PAN Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout during an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reforms that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Vahan Stepanyan, PAN Photo)

    Protesters shout during an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reforms that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Vahan Stepanyan, PAN Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters gather for an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reform that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Hrant Khachatryan, PAN Photo)

    Protesters gather for an opposition rally in Yerevan, Armenia, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. About 12,000 people rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest an impending constitutional reform that they fear could be abused by the incumbent president. (AP Photo/Hrant Khachatryan, PAN Photo)  (The Associated Press)

About 12,000 people have rallied in the capital of Armenia to protest a constitutional change being proposed by the president.

Protesters and leaders of Armenia's three major opposition parties, which organized Friday's rally together despite their ideological differences, also called for the resignation of the government, blaming it for a dismal economic growth.

An ad-hoc commission was set up in Armenia early this year to consider potential changes to the constitution.

President Serge Sarkisian, who is now the head of state, has proposed a change that would make the prime minister the government's top official.

The opposition claims he has done that so he could run for that job when his second and final term as president ends in 2018 and thereby potentially remain Armenia's leader.