Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LTP -- What's next? -- 3/11 Interview: Pt. 2

Mr. President, the Constitutional Court (CC) was virtually the last legal court in Armenia where it was possible to dispute the results of the election. What legal measures are you planning to take now?

There aren't any. The European Court does not accept any work regarding the reconsideration of the results of presidential elections. But there are other questions that may be raised, say, about the defense of human rights, citizens' rights--people who have voted and had their votes demonstrably stolen from them. It is possible to petition the CC with many other issues.

Mr. President, doesn't the fact that they forbade a demonstration mean that the government wants to lead resistance efforts into an impasse?

Of course. What else could it mean? It means just that. We will now apply for the following day, for March 22nd; let them refuse again; we'll apply for March 23rd.

And would it be possible to hold the demonstrations outside of Yerevan?

Yes, that is possible, but today we are living in a type of nation... Our camp applied in Edjmiatzin, and, there, too, they were forbidden. They said that [Gyumri TV] does not broadcast widely, though the state of emergency does not extend beyond Yerevan.

Are you going to hold unsanctioned demonstrations? If they keep denying you [the license to legally hold a demonstration], what will you do?

How long are they going to deny us? They cannot deny us to that extent. They will find another way. Clearly put, they will extend the state of emergency. They need 20 days, so that there are no demonstrations until April 9th [date of inauguration]. We are not planning on holding an unannounced demonstration. It will be announced, and we will hold it.

Mr. President, can you make it concrete whether you are going to continue to struggle for new elections to be held, and, if so, through what means?

I have now one way to prevail: the opportunity to hold demonstrations will manifest, and the newspapers will reopen; we will use the newspapers, use the demonstrations, and all lawful means to have contact with the people and talk--just what we have been doing for the last five months. In five months, our camp committed not one transgression. So many marches took place, so many demonstrations. In all those marches and demonstrations, not one car was damaged, not one window broken. How did it happen that the people all of a sudden changed overnight? One thing happened: They raised the cudgel over the people. Then, flash demonstrations took place. They gathered near the French embassy, out came provocateurs, and a process was initiated that went out of controlability. But I am certain that that process was being "miraculously" controlled by the government. Even today, I am 100% certain, if announced and approved demonstrations are held, and the government does not raise the cudgel, there will be no disruptions of public order.

And now about what I am going to tell the people. I am going to tell them that I don't accept the legitimacy of this government, and I am going to explain. If it is corruption, then corruption; if it is a violation of human rights, then its a violation of human rights. It's a political struggle. New possibilities will open up, say, elections, local and parliamentary; we must struggle against this government by all means: civil, justifiable, distinct--unyielding resistance. We will suffer no coercion to change our beliefs or the object of our will, and no one can force us to change our minds, even through statutes. That is my right. That which has to do with apolitical tension, we do not subscribe to it. I consider apolitical, physical contact--violence and the like. We have never subscribed to things like that, and neither are we preparing to.

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