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Pashinian Aide Rules Out Kocharian’s Return To Power


Armenia -- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's spokesman Vladimir Karapetian speaks to RFE/RL, Yerevan, March 15, 2019.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s press secretary shrugged off the arrested former President Robert Kocharian’s stated political comeback on Thursday, saying that he stands no chance of returning to power.

Vladimir Karapetian said that Armenians “with normal consciousness” will have access to shocking information about Kocharian’s role in the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan after his trial resumes on September 12.

“In light of that, I exclude that any serious political force or figure can stand with that person,” Karapetian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

He claimed that Kocharian can count only on the backing of “those people who are paid” to stage rallies in support of the man who ruled Armenia from 1998 to 2008.

Kocharian announced his return to active politics shortly after being first arrested and charged in July 2018 with overthrowing the country’s constitutional order in the wake of a disputed 2008 presidential election. He subsequently called on opposition groups and individuals to rally around him in challenging the current Armenian government.

Kocharian, who was arrested again in June this year, denies the coup and corruption charges brought against him as politically motivated.

Kocharian’s official Facebook page posted on Wednesday a picture of the ex-president and the following quote from him: “I have unique experience in state and army building and implementation of large-scale socioeconomic reforms as well as understanding of applying mechanisms of contemporary business.”

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