Armenia is no Georgia, president tells opposition

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Armenia is no Georgia, president tells opposition

YEREVAN

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan told the opposition it would not
succeed in importing the revolution scenario from neighboring Georgia
and he would remain in office.

The opposition plans to stage a rally Friday in Yerevan and demand
the president to step down.

“The situation in Armenia was influenced by the developments in
Georgia. The change of authority there incited hope in the Armenian
opposition. However they did not take into account that the countries
are different and the strength of authorities is different as well”,
Kocharyan said.

The opposition Justice bloc and the National Unity party said in a
statement their aim was to make the president resign. Opposition
leaders Stepan Demirchyan and Artashes Gegamyan urged to fulfill last
year recommendation of the Constitutional court to hold a referendum
on trust to authorities.

Demirchyan said the opposition will do its best so that the “process
is under control and peaceful”. He warned the authorities will be
responsible for any use of force.

Kocharyan responded by saying “Armenia has enough resources to curb
political extremism by lawful means”. He ordered police to be
“extremely reserved, to interfere only in extreme cases so that there
are no reasons to accuse authorities of brutality”, the president
said.

“The opposition should be cautious in its actions as they may
boomerang back”, he warned and called on his supporters to be
reserved and avoid provocations. Kocharyan said the reported beating
of some opposition leaders “can only be denounced”.

The Mayor’s office of Yerevan has not allowed to hold the opposition
rally and security in the capital has been enhanced.

“They will either have to resort to unlawfulness, and they know what
the response will be, or retreat, which will mean they will lose
face”, Kocharyan said branding the opposition as “aggressive
political minority”.

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