Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kocharian Rules Out Early End To Emergency Rule

Why am I not surprised? We gotta keep tightening the screws on these people. Diasporans and others living outside Armenia. Contact your foreign ministries and urge them to take a stance. We can't let Armenia slip further into totalitarianism.

Kocharian Rules Out Early End To Emergency Rule

Ter-Petrosian has said that the protest would not have been marred by bloodshed had the authorities lifted his de facto house arrest and allowed him to join the crowd. He said hours before the outbreak of violence he offered the authorities to let the crowd of tens of thousands of his angry supporters, who gathered outside the Yerevan municipality, march through the city center and then disperse.

“Imagine what would have happened to our city had we let that uncontrollable crowd into central streets,” responded Kocharian. He said he offered Ter-Petrosian to rally his supporters outside the city center but that the latter refused.

Meanwhile, Ter-Petrosian associates not arrested so far told RFE/RL on Wednesday that they are undaunted by the intensifying government crackdown. “The authorities are showing that violence repression is their only language of communication with the opposition and the people,” said Levon Zurabian, the ex-president’s former press secretary. “This is a very counterproductive approach.”

“The most prudent and clever thing the authorities could have done today is to begin a dialogue with leaders representing the people. But they are rejecting dialogue,” he added.

“If the authorities hope that the process is over, they are mistaken,” said Lyudmila Sargsian of the opposition Social Democratic Hnchakian Party. “The violence which they perpetrated and are now blaming on the opposition is convincing every citizen that these authorities are leading this country to ruin.”

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