Armenia opposition rally partakers to stay for night by parliament

Armenia opposition rally partakers to stay for night by parliament

By Tigran Liloyan

Tass, YEREVAN
April 12, 2004

Partakers of the opposition rally intend to stay for a night near the
Armenian parliament building, deputy from the opposition Shavarsh
Kocharyan said. He called on demonstrators “to go home, have a rest
and then return with other people.”

About 1,500 action participants are listening to music and cry out
slogans with demands of Robert Kocharyan’s dismissal from time to
time. Meanwhile policemen in helmets, with shields and sticks blocked
Bagramyan Avenue, two lines of barbed-tape obstacles are set and water
jets are brought.

Alongside the Armenian pro-presidential coalition urged the opposition
to discuss the political situation through talks. Head of the Armenian
presidential administration Artashes Tumanyan made the statement in an
interview to the Armenian Public Television.

“Accentuated revolutionary radicalism is the weak chain in the stand
of opposition,” he emphasized. In his view, “such approach extremely
reduces possibilities for negotiations practically leaving no space
for maneuvering.”

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan is currently in his cabinet in the
presidential palace, and the state authorities are functioning well in
the republic, deputy chief of the presidential press service Armine
Balyan said.

The opposition demands to provide the air to it on all Armenian
television channels and meet with Parliament Speaker Artur Bagdasaryan
and police chief Gaik Arutyunyan. Secretary of the parliamentary
faction Justice Viktor Dallakyan made public these requirements at the
rally.

Meanwhile some Yerevan television channels reported about the meeting
that took place between the speaker and some deputies from the
opposition.

Rally partakers called on the parliament’s speaker “to go out to
people and share the requirement of Robert Kocharyan’s dismissal.”

Police who blocked Bagramyan Avenue do not take any force actions
against the demonstrators.

The opposition blamed Robert Kocharyan for “seizure of power as a
result of the falsified election in 2003.” Meanwhile the Armenian
Constitutional Court confirmed the validity of the official returns of
the election already last year but at the same time recommended to
hold a referendum on trust to authorities in the course of the
year. At present when this term expired the opposition demands to hold
the referendum but the parliament did not support this question.

Meanwhile the Constitutional Court confirmed Monday that its proposal
put forth last year to hold a referendum on trust to the president in
the course of the year “is not imperative and does not envision any
legal consequences,” the court ruling said.

The proposal pursued the goal to defuse the domestic political
situation on the eve of the parliamentary election and the referendum
on constitutional reforms that were held on May 25 2003. Taking this
into account the Constitutional Court urged “not to use this proposal
for political speculations.”

The court ruling also confirmed that by its decision on April 16, 2003
the Constitutional Court remained in effect the decision of the
Armenian Central Election Commission on March 11, 2003 on the victory
of Robert Kocharyan at the presidential election on March 5 2003. This
decision is final and imperative, the ruling emphasized.

The ruling majority of the Armenian parliament announced on Monday
that it would not participate in the plenary session of the National
Assembly on April 12-14. This decision is taken “to avoid the
artificial deterioration of the political situation,” Parliament
Speaker Artur Bagdasaryan pointed out.

The Armenian president said Sunday “Armenian authorities have enough
resources to curb political extremism in the country by legal means.”
Meanwhile he noted that police are instructed to show restraint.

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