By Ruzanna Khachatrian
The Armenian opposition abandoned on Wednesday its heavily publicized plans to try to bring impeachment proceedings against President Robert Kocharian, admitting that the initiative would be rejected by the parliament.
Vartan Mkrtchian, a senior member of the opposition People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK), said the opposition forces have realized that they will again fail to collect at least 44 signatures of parliament deputies which is required by the law for forcing a parliament debate on the issue. “The National Assembly has again shown its face,” Mkrtchian said, condemning its pro-Kocharian majority.
The alliance of 13 opposition parties which has held a series of anti-presidential demonstrations over the past month was initially scheduled to start the signature collection on Tuesday. But it delayed the attempt until Wednesday ostensibly to drum up more political support for Kocharian’s ouster.
Mkrtchian’s announcement means that the opposition has decided not to raise the issue at all. The move was sarcastically welcomed by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian who said the opposition is “getting smarter” by even not attempting to accomplish a mission impossible.