Armenia says PACE resolution “throws us one step back”

May 3 2004

Armenia says PACE resolution “throws us one step back”

YEREVAN. May 3 (Interfax) – A top member of Armenia’s parliament on
Tuesday said a recent Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE)
resolution “throws us one step back” but that PACE “has effectively
recognized the legitimacy” of Armenian elections disputed by the

The resolution, passed last week, expressed concern over the current
political situation in Armenia, including the use of force by the
government to disperse opposition rallies. It urged the government and
opposition to avoid actions that might provoke violence and to hold

PACE also presented Armenia with demands and threatened to consider
suspending the country’s membership in the Assembly in September if
they have not been satisfied.

The resolution “has thrown us one step back from our former positions,”
deputy parliamentary speaker Tigran Torosian, leader of Armenia’s
delegation to PACE, told a briefing in Yerevan.

But “PACE has effectively recognized the legitimacy of the results of
the presidential elections in Armenia, which are disputed by the
opposition, and has refused using the demands of the opposition for a
referendum on confidence in the government as a condition for Yerevan,”
he said.

He called on the opposition to start talks with the government without
any conditions. “It is still not too late to normalize the situation by
joint efforts within a short period of time.”

Meanwhile, the leaders of the opposition Justice bloc told a news
conference on Monday that there was nothing they were prepared to
discuss with the government other than their demands for President
Robert Kocharian’s removal and for a referendum on confidence in the

Viktor Dallakian, secretary of Justice’s parliamentary group, said the
opposition planned to continue fighting for Kocharian’s removal. He
said the opposition would hold another rally in central Yerevan on
Tuesday despite not receiving approval from the mayor’s office.

Two rivaling opposition parties represented in parliament – Justice and
National Unification – have formed a temporary bloc to press for
Kocharian’s overthrow.