Armenians Protest Near Presidential Palace

Newsday

Armenians Protest Near Presidential Palace

By AVET DEMOURIAN
Associated Press Writer

April 13, 2004, 9:15 PM EDT

YEREVAN, Armenia — Police broke up a protest of some 2,000 people outside
Armenia’s presidential palace on Tuesday, the latest in a series of
demonstrations over last year’s presidential election.

Opposition leaders vowed to keep up their public protests against President
Robert Kocharian, whose re-election a year ago spurred opposition charges of
widespread ballot violations.

“The fight against the unlawful regime will be kept up,” said an opposition
leader, Vazgen Manoukian.

Organizers said several demonstrators were injured, but their condition was
not known.

In Washington, the State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the
United States is concerned about the sharp escalation in the confrontation
between the government and the opposition.

“We call on both sides to enter into a dialogue that will lessen tension and
focus the political process on the challenges of continued political and
economic reform,” Boucher said.

He said physical assaults, raids on political party offices and widespread
arrests and detentions of opposition activists by the police “do not
contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive to political dialogue.”
Boucher added.

Kocharian considers the protests “an act of political extremism,” according
to his spokesman Ashot Kocharian.

Last April, Armenia’s Constitutional Court confirmed the results of the
presidential vote but suggested that a referendum be held within a year to
gauge the public’s confidence.
Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS