Armenians march against president

Armenians march against president
By Chloe Arnold

BBC News
Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 02:16 GMT 03:16 UK

Opposition supporters in Armenia have stepped up their demands for
President Robert Kocharyan to resign. Thousands of people staged a
march on the presidential administration in the capital, Yerevan.

Police used razor wire and road blocks to halt the protesters a few
hundred metres from the building.

The demonstration marked the start of a second week of protests by
opponents who blame Mr Kocharyan for poverty and unemployment in the
ex-Soviet republic.

Several thousand demonstrators marched along Bagramyan Avenue, one of
Yerevan’s main thoroughfares, determined to reach the presidential
administration and the residence of the Armenian leader.

They were stopped by police who used barbed-wire cordons to hold them

Revolution hopes

The crisis in Armenia was sparked by last year’s presidential election
which opposition groups claim was rigged in Mr Kocharyan’s favour.

Western observers said the vote had fallen well short of international

Armenia’s opposition is hoping for an uprising similar to the
so-called Rose Revolution in neighbouring Georgia.

Last November thousands of Georgians marched on the home of their
President Eduard Shevardnadze, forcing him to resign in the wake of a
disputed parliamentary election.

Armenia’s opposition has vowed to continue their protests until Mr
Kocharyan steps down.