Armenian Opposition Stops Boycott of Parliament Sessions


Mediamax news agency
30 Mar 04


Deputies from the Justice and National Unity opposition parliamentary
factions stopped boycotting meetings of the Armenian National Assembly

Deputies representing the Justice and National Unity blocks registered
today for taking part in the National Assembly’s meetings, Mediamax’s
parliamentary correspondent reports.

According to talks in the corridors, the opposition deputies, who
boycotted Armenian parliament meetings in February, decided to return
to the session hall in order to hamper plans of the ruling
coalition. The latter, having majority in the parliament,
intentionally did not secure a quorum in the National Assembly
today. Thus, coalition representatives were going to foil the
parliament meeting during which every Tuesday deputies make
statements. Justice and National Unity faction representatives, who
demand the Armenian president’s resignation, made it clear the day
before that they were going to use the parliament rostrum in order to
call on their adherents to take an action of civil disobedience.

Representatives of the Justice and National Unity opposition factions
declared a boycott of the Armenian parliament’s sessions on 2
February. The opposition walked out of the parliament after the
parliamentary majority rejected the proposal on making amendments and
additions to the law “On referendum”. The opposition intended to
achieve changes to the law in order to initiate a referendum on a vote
of confidence in the country’s current authorities.

After the last year’s presidential elections, opponents of (President)
Robert Kocharyan appealed to the Constitutional Court of Armenia
suggesting that the results of the voting announced by the Central
Electoral Commission (CEC) be declared invalid. The CEC refused to
satisfy the claim of the opposition, and on 16 April 2003 suggested
that the president and the parliament hold a vote of confidence in the
authorities within a year in order to lessen the political tension in
the country.

The Constitutional Court leadership explained earlier this year that
the proposal on the referendum was “not an imperative but of a
non-mandatory nature”, i.e. it was not an obligation but a