Armenian opposition calls for new president

Armenian opposition calls for new president

Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
13 Mar 04

“The time will soon come when all of us will turn to the people and
stay [in street demonstrations] until the administration leaves,” the
leader of the Anrapetutyun [Republic] Party, Albert Bazeyan, said
yesterday during a meeting in the cultural centre for the deaf,
organized by the intelligentsia. By the way, in saying “all of us”
Bazeyan meant two opposition political forces: the Justice bloc and
the National Unity Party. But it is worth noting that this time, as
well as well-known opposition members, there were also some
politicians, who may not be considered unreservedly members of the
opposition. Specifically, the leader of the Christian Democratic
Union, Khosrov Arutyunyan, the president of the ALM TV channel, Tigran
Karapetyan (as a leader of the People’s Party) and the former deputy
of the National Assembly, Ovanes Ovanesyan, who recently set up his
Liberal Progressive Party, took part in the meeting. Anyway, according
to Bazeyan, the sooner there is a change of power in our republic, the
better for the country. He is also sure that, if there is a nationwide
powerful wave, today’s administrative group will have no option but to
leave.

But what are they going to do, if they manage to get [Armenian
President] Robert Kocharyan’s resignation? Bazeyan replied: “We shall
form an alternative power centre: all of us should take one
responsibility – to organize democratic, free and fair elections in
Armenia.” He said that the political forces in the [governing]
coalition will also be invited to be involved “in the alternative
power centre”. Bazeyan said that the president of the country should
be a man elected by the republic and it is not ruled out that the
opposition will put forward several candidates for president in
extraordinary presidential elections.

[Passage omitted: musician Ogan Duryan says in his speech that the
people do not like Robert Kocharyan]

All the opposition politicians emphasized in their speeches that
Armenia needs a change of power and in this way should create the
opportunity for the formation of legitimate authorities, really
elected by the people. Only Tigran Karapetyan had a different view:
“Really, there is a crisis in the country. I think that if the
authorities do not do anything, then one should not continue to live
in this way, and they should give up their place to those who will be
soft-hearted.”

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