Robert Kocharian Has No Fears That Amendments To Law On Public Event

ROBERT KOCHARIAN HAS NO FEARS THAT AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON PUBLIC EVENTS MAY TURN ARMENIA INTO POLICE STATE

Noyan Tapan
March 21, 2008

YEREVAN, MARCH 21, NOYAN TAPAN. The Armenian president sees no danger
that as a result of the amendments in the law on mass events Armenia
may turn into a police state. Robert Kocharian stated this at the
March 21 press conference, adding that the amendments proceed from
the Constitution and are in line with the respective conventions.

To recap, by these amendments, a local government body may ban rallies,
processions and demonstrations based on a conclusion of the RA national
security body and the police.

According to the president, in the postelection period he did not
allow the police to intervene in 9-day unauthorized rallies not to
distort the processes of ballot recounting and appeal. "I am not sure
that it was correct. If there had been more drastic intervention on
the second day of anauthorized rallies, the consequences would not
probably have been so grave," R. Kocharian said, adding that rallies
and processions must not be organized for some period of time. "If
we are concerned about stability in the country, it is obvious that
such steps will not contribute to stability: everybody should show
restraint." Besides, according to R. Kocharian, some people, who
had used arms and explosives against policemen, are still wanted
by the police, and there is no guarantee that they will not again
resort to provocations "in order to mess up the situation and avoid
responsibility."

In response to the question "What have you succeeded in and what
have you failed to do during 10 years as president of the country?",
R. Kocharian promised to think over this question and answer it
until the end of his term of office – April 9. "I failed to prevent
the March 1 events but I managed to prevent, maybe by means of more
drastic measures, their scale from being larger and graver," he said.

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