Aftermath: Anticipation Peaks Toward Friday Opposition Rally

AFTERMATH: ANTICIPATION PEAKS TOWARD FRIDAY OPPOSITION RALLY

VOTE 2013 | 22.02.13 | 14:06

NAZIK ARMENAKYAN
ArmeniaNow

By GOHAR ABRAHAMYAN
ArmeniaNow reporter

The most-anticipated event of this post-election week following
the Monday vote is perhaps the Friday evening public rally, which
comes after the meeting between the oppositional candidate and the
incumbent president, and is expected to give answers to many questions
and clarify the opposition’s action plan.

The preliminary official results of the February 18 presidential
elections have positioned oppositional candidate Raffi Hovannisian as
the runner-up. Hovannisian, however, is disputing the results claiming
the victory with the majority of votes had the election results not
been forged. After three days of public rallies at Liberty Square,
downtown Yerevan, Hovannisian visited the presidential residence and
had a meeting with re-elected president Serzh Sargsyan. There are
no details from this meeting of Heritage and ruling Republican party
leaders yet. Hovannisian promised to speak about them at the Friday
rally (today, February 22).

Today’s rally has been licensed by the mayor, while Heritage party
representative Armen Martirosyan says the city hall returned the
notifications his party had submitted about holding rallies on February
23, 24 and 25 refusing to give permission, because “the notifications
were submitted within violation of the deadlines set by the law”.

Martirosyan say they will, nonetheless, go ahead with the rallies.

The previous experience with public rallies was that people complained
of closed roads and lack of transport to the capital hindering their
participation; these days however no such complaints have been voiced,
which is an indication that people’s participation is not obstructed.

While Yerevan enjoys “relative peace” amidst post-election standoff,
Armenia’s border villages are again at Azeri gunpoint. In particular,
Tavush province’s Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, Aygepar, and Movses villages
were under constant gunfire from 7 p.m. Thursday till past midnight.

Aygepar village head Andranik Aydinyan told ArmeniaNow that for a
few days now a sniper has been shooting at peaceful villagers once
every hour. On Wednesday one such shot hit Aygepar resident David
Gabrielyan, 45, wounding him in the wrist.

Many connect the unrest on the border with the election and
post-election processes in Armenia, although others don’t see any
particular connection, and believe that the Azeri side has always
been aggressive to border villages over the past few years.

From: A. Papazian

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