Kocharian calls on people to pay no heed to opposition protests

Armenian leader calls on people to pay no heed to opposition protests

20 Apr 04


“We should not allow 1 per cent of the population to mislead entire
Armenian society and to make the authorities take popular steps which
are catastrophic for the country’s destiny,” Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan told a news conference today, commenting on the opposition’s
[protest] actions.

The head of state said that the fight was being held not against the
president but to define the single leader of the Armenian opposition,
which is a profitable status, and that the objectives of this fight
have nothing to do with the constitutional order. The president called
on the public not to pay any attention to the number of people who
attend the rallies. He said that 23,000 people made up 1 per cent of
the electorate and that the rallies did not attract so many people.

He said that at one time, the nuclear power station and the chemical
giant of the country, the Nairit plant, had been mothballed at the
demand of 30,000 protesters, as a result of which the country incurred
significant damage, and its negative consequences have not yet been
eliminated. “If the two enterprises had not been put in mothballs, we
would have been at a higher stage of economic development,” Robert
Kocharyan said.