March 30, 2012 - 21:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Today, March 30, 4800 demonstrators gathered for Armenian National Congress (ANC) opposition bloc rally in Yerevan’s Liberty Square. Though the gathering was held during the pre-election period, ANC representatives dubbed it an “information rally, rather than mere propaganda.
This is not propaganda
The rally was opened by the Armenian National Movement board chair Aram Manukyan in contrast to the previous ones, during which Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper editor-in-chief Nikol Pashinyan was the first to address the public.
According to him, parliamentary elections have never been prerequisite for the presidential race in Armenia.
He further noted that the nation has currently divided into two, one of them standing up for their rights, while the second preferring to leave the country in disappointment.
“We aim not only to win the parliamentary race, but also to create such Armenia, that would have the emigrants return their homeland,” Mr. Manukyan said, dubbing the gathering an “information rally, rather than mere propaganda.
Nikol Pashinyan dubs authorities magicians
Addressing the ANC supporters, Haykakan Zhamanak editor-in-chief compared the country’s leadership with magicians that “turn the mouse into a drum in black cylinders, and later assure that it has truly become a drum.” Nikol Pashinyan noted that ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) assured that its candidates list won’t comprise entrepreneurs and members with nicknames, and later started reading out the names and nicknames of those candidates included in RPA list.
He further commented on his rival in N 7 constituency, a leading Armenian oligarch Samvel Aleksanyan, noting that his frequent absence from parliamentary activity casts doubt. Moreover, according to the ANC member, Aleksanyan presented doctor's certificate as an excuse, which implies he suffers from “certain chronic disease.”
“I’ll give Aleksanyan a chance to undergo treatment if he wins,” Pashinyan said.
He further invited Aleksanyan to a debate in N 7 constituency’s yard, citing fear of cameras as the key reason behind the oligarch’s unwillingness to participate in TV debates.
ANC 4000 trustees will struggle for fair elections
ANC coordinator, head of the bloc’s campaign headquarters Levon Zurabyan signaled a start for a new battle in his speech remarks at Yerevan’s Liberty Square.
He presented the ANC program for the forthcoming parliamentary elections due May 6, noting that the Congress has 4000 trustees, with 2 people in each constituency.
Khachatur Sukiasyan thanks public for support
Following Zurabyan’s speech, Aram Manukyan again addressed the demonstrators, stressing the need for public engagement in the political struggle.
“There must be no indifferent citizens,” he said.
Commenting on authorities’ refusal to register Khachatur Sukiasyan in N 10 constituency, he noted that continued impolicy pursued by the authorities will spark further callousness of Sukiasyan’s supporters.
Khachatur Sukiasyan, in turn, thanked the public for the support extended to him for the recently years, noting his readiness to implement all the reforms the country is in need of, despite the fact he has not been registered.
Armenia’s fate depends on “disastrous electoral lists”
At the end of the rally, the leader of the Armenian National Congress Levon Ter-Petrossian drew the rally participants’ attention to the issue of electoral lists.
“All elections and even the fate of Armenia depend on the disastrous candidates lists comprising not even 500 but 700 thous. people,” he said.
ANC leader noted with irony that lengthening the lists by 175 thous. names compared with the 2008 elections, Armenian police chief Vladimir Gasparyan probably wanted to prove RA President Serzh Sargsyan that he is more competent that his predecessor Alik Sargsyan.
According to him, even voter bribery doesn’t help the authorities, with candidates lists remaining their sole hope during the elections.
In this context, he urged the journalists, politicians and political parties concerned over the justice of oncoming elections to vie for rectification of lists and publication of the lists of voters following the elections. Ter-Petrossian said that voter lists were published during his term of office, the practice being canceled after Robert Kocharian came to power.
Head of the Congress called on particularly the reporters to draw the foreign embassies’ attention to the issue, noting that he himself will raise the issue during a meeting with the head of the OSCE/ODIHR.
“The international observers will become accomplices in election forgery, if the issue isn’t resolved,” he said.
ANC: No single vote for criminal regime
Armenian National Congress will run for elections with “No single vote for the criminal regime” slogan, ANC leader Levon Ter-Petrossian said.
In his speech he briefed the demonstrators on the key provisions of ANC election program, as well as the social economic breakdown the country currently faces.
“If the public starts selling votes for AMD 5000, it will become accomplice in the collapse of the own country,” ANC leader said, voicing readiness to struggle for implementation of his election program in case the bloc wins the parliamentary race.
Ter-Petrossian noted that otherwise ANC will vote against all the bills, in case its remarks and proposals are ignored.
Next rally…. coming soon
After completion of Ter-Petrossian’s speech, Aram Manukyan told the demonstrators that date of the next rally will be announced later.
Afterwards, rally participants traditionally marched to central streets of Yerevan.