Armenian leader calls opposition protests temporary

Armenian leader calls opposition protests temporary

Agence France Presse
April 19, 2004

MOSCOW, April 19 — Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian said a wave
of opposition protests sweeping the country over the past several
weeks was a “misunderstanding” and unlikely to continue for long.

“It is certainly a temporary phenomenon,” he said in an interview
with the Izvestia daily.

Opposition parties in Armenia, a nation of three million people in
the Caucasus mountains, have recently staged a series of protests,
drawing comparisons with last year’s “rose revolution” that ousted
the leadership in neighbouring Georgia.

“Our opposition, under the impression of Georgia’s events, has decided
to stage a similar situation in Armenia,” he said. “But our reality
cannot be compared with Georgia’s.”

The Armenian opposition says that Kocharian rigged a run-off
presidential vote in March 2003 to secure a second term in office
and is demanding that he step down.

But despite the widespread discontent in Armenia over low living
standards, analysts say Kocharian is too strong, and the opposition
too weak, for the Georgian scenario to be repeated in Armenia, the
world’s first state to adopt Christianity.

Kocharian said the opposition would be allowed to proceed with protests
as long as they did not cause major disruptions.

“If the opposition tries to attract attention to itself by blocking
major thoroufares or government buildings, then police will do what
it is obligated to do,” he said.

Last Monday, the police broke up an anti-government demonstration in
the capital Yerevan using water cannon and reportedly injuring dozens
of protestors.



From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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