Armenian president downplays opposition calls for power change

Armenian president downplays opposition calls for power change

8 Apr 04


Calls for violence are very dangerous on their own, Armenian President
Robert Kocharyan told Armenian Public TV today.

These calls are dangerous for the opposition in the first place,
Kocharyan said. This might boomerang not only against society, but
against individuals in the opposition as well. “I received more than a
million votes in the last presidential elections, and most of the
citizens who voted for me are my active supporters. That is why one
can understand their indignation at people without a political
biography who can make statements urging to break the authorities’
backbone or shed their blood,” Kocharyan said.

He has received many telephone calls from his supporters who asked to
organize rallies and demonstrate to the opposition the number of their
opponents. In addition, the aforesaid concerns not the entire
opposition, but only that part of it which is currently called an
aggressive political minority, Kocharyan said. He rejected these
proposals because he regarded as incorrect setting one part of the
nation against another part. “In this case my motto is the following –
I was elected to deal with the people’s problems, but people should
not deal with my problems,” Kocharyan said.

He added that the people had in the first place given him a mandate to
solve their problems and establish law and order in the country. But
he does not have to call on one part of the nation to observe order
with the help of the other part, which will be the worst scenario in
the current situation. “I would also like to use this opportunity to
appeal to my supporters and ask them to show restraint and ignore any
provocation and be confident that the authorities have sufficient
resources to curb political extremism in line with the law,” Kocharyan

According to Kocharyan, he has an impression that the current tension
in the country can be explained with kind of competition in the
country’s opposition camp which urged every opposition leader to take
a more opposite and even uncompromising stance and be more aggressive
in order to attract part of voters and find out who is “the opposition
leader of all Armenians”. The struggle here is not so much against
Robert Kocharyan’s personality. Robert Kocharyan is a target, and
firing at him, the opposition sorts out relations within itself. The
sooner the opposition decides who precisely in its ranks is “the
opposition leader of all Armenians”, the sooner both the opposition
and the political situation in the country will calm down, Kocharyan