Armenian Opposition Leader Insists March 19 Presidential Election Wa


Interfax News Agency
Russia & CIS
March 11, 2008

Former Armenian presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosian insists
that the presidential election of March 19 was illegitimate and is
determined to force the authorities to allow a protest rally.

Ter-Petrosian said he was not going to initiate unsanctioned rallies.

"I respect the law, and we have not taken any action during the state
of emergency," he said.

At the same time, Ter-Petrosian said he was left perplexed by the
Constitutional Court’s ruling of March 8, which upheld the Central
Elections Commission’s decision to declare Serzh Sargsyan the new
Armenian president. Ter-Petrosian suggested that the Constitutional
Court’s ruling "has put a mine under Serzh Sargsyan’s legitimacy."

Ter-Petrosian insisted that, according to Armenian law, a prime
minister can be registered as a presidential candidate only if he is
performing the duties of acting-president. Since Sargsyan had no such
status, his registration as a presidential candidate by the Central
Elections Commission was unlawful, he said.

The Armenian constitution stipulates that no elections can be held in
the country during martial law or a state of emergency. "Therefore,
the presidential election that was held mean that the entire election
process, from the nomination [of candidates] to the end of the appeal
process, which is the moment when the court handed down its ruling,
is also illegitimate," he said.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling cannot be appealed.