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Opposition Leader Tells Activists To Gear Up For Snap Polls


Armenia -- Davit Shahnazarian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 06Apr2011.

Armenia -- Davit Shahnazarian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 06Apr2011.

A leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) urged supporters on Friday to get ready for fresh presidential and parliamentary elections which he said are imminent.


“You have already started that process. Start actively preparing for pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections,” Davit Shahnazarian told dozens of HAK activists in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri.

Shahnazarian is one of five members of a delegation representing the opposition bloc in ongoing negotiations with the government. The holding of early elections is the main HAK demand in the talks.

Echoing statements by the HAK’s top leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, Shahnazarian said the Armenian authorities must “make a choice on the issue of pre-term elections” by September.

“I must emphasize that the dialogue is simply an opportunity for the authorities to resolve the political crisis existing in Armenia in a civilized way,” he told the Gyumri activists. “If they don’t use it, they will have to do that under pressure from the people.”

Shahnazarian, who held key government positions during Ter-Petrosian’s 1991-1998 presidency, described the latter scenario as “very likely.” “It is possible that the dialogue will be interrupted at some point,” he said.

The outspoken oppositionist noted at the same time that the HAK representatives have so far been satisfied with the course of the talks as they are “proceeding under our scenario.”

“We have no complaints yet,” he said. “I mean the process of dialogue itself. The atmosphere is businesslike, which is good for us.”

“And I think that many things will be become clear when discussions resume on Tuesday,” added Shahnazarian.
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