By Emil Danielyan
Deputy Foreign Minister Armen Bayburtian and three other senior Armenian diplomats have stepped down in protest against their government’s controversial conduct of Tuesday’s presidential election, it emerged on Saturday.
The unprecedented resignations were first announced during former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s ongoing rally in Yerevan.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry declined to comment on them. A ministry spokesman confirmed only that Bayburtian as well as Ruben Shugarian and Levon Khachatrian, Armenia’s ambassadors to Italy and Kazakhstan respectively, and Razmik Khumarian, an Armenian envoy in Ukraine, quite over the disputed election.
President Robert Kocharian accepted the resignations later in the day. He also stripped Bayburtian, Shugarian and Khachatrian of their ambassadorial ranks.