Armenian opposition upbeat on talks with authorities
6 May 04
During today’s political consultations between the ruling coalition
and the Armenian opposition, a mutually acceptable formula was drawn
up on conducting a referendum of confidence in the president. The
sides agreed that the referendum will be on the agenda of the talks
between the opposition and the coalition, Viktor Dallakyan, secretary
of the opposition’s Justice bloc, told journalists today after a
five-hour meeting between the coalition and opposition leaders.
Today’s meeting, initiated by Armenian National Assembly Speaker Artur
Bagdasaryan, was the beginning of a new political situation in
Armenia, Dallakyan said. “If the sides display political will, then
these consultations will become a basis for forming a new domestic
political situation in Armenia,” he said.
The consultations today mainly concerned the issues that may be
included in the agenda of the forthcoming talks between the sides,
Shavarsh Kocharyan, an MP from the Justice bloc, said. The agenda will
include 30 items, including 10 proposals put forward by the opposition
some time ago, as well as the discussion of certain points of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolution on the
domestic political situation in Armenia.
Among the 10 proposals, the key one concerns the conduct of a
referendum of confidence in the president. The opposition is also
demanding that the authorities stop political persecution and
repression, free opposition activists from prison, refrain from
violence against demonstrators and rally-goers, allow the free
movement of citizens within Armenia and ensure unbiased coverage of
the situation by public television. The opposition also wants live
airtime to deliver speeches.
The opposition is demanding the prosecution of those who organized the
mass falsifications during the presidential and parliamentary
elections held in 2003 and those who organized and perpetrated the
“punitive action” [breaking up an opposition rally in Yerevan] on the
night of 12-13 April.