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Kocharian Warns Of Post-Election Protests


Armenia - Former President Robert Kocharian speaks at a news conference in Yerevan, May 25, 2021.

Former President Robert Kocharian warned on Tuesday that an opposition alliance led by him will stage street protests if the Armenian authorities rig the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“If the authorities try to use disproportionate administrative resources and falsify the elections in various ways there will be post-election processes that could have unpredictable consequences. So everyone must be conscious of that in this situation,” he told reporters.

Kocharian said his Hayastan (Armenia) bloc would be ready to lead the anti-government protests along with other opposition forces. At the same time he questioned the current government’s ability to organize a large-scale vote-rigging operation.

“These authorities lack sufficient resources for demonstrating this kind of impudence,” he said.

The early elections scheduled for June 20 are meant to end a serious political crisis resulting from Armenia’s defeat in last year’s war with Azerbaijan. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s administration has pledged to ensure their freedom and fairness.

A senior government official expressed confidence on May 7 that Pashinian’s Civil Contract party will win more votes than any other political party.

Kocharian’s bloc is expected to be one of Civil Contract’s main election challengers. The ex-president formed it earlier this month together with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and another opposition party called Resurgent Armenia.

Kocharian claimed that Pashinian’s party is supported by up to 30 percent of the country’s population and will fail to win a majority of seats in Armenia’s next parliament. He said he and his political allies “will do everything” to cut its approval ratings during the election campaign.

Campaigning for the snap polls is due to officially start on June 7 and last for only 12 days.

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