May 31, 2011 - 23:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Another rally of Armenian National Congress (ANC) was held in Yerevan. Similarly to previous rallies, it was held at Liberty Square, which ANC calls symbolic for Armenian nation. May 31 rally, as opposed to previous ones, hosted amnestied ANC supporters, including former parliamentarian Sasun Mikaelyan and Haykakan Zhamanak daily editor-in-chief Nikol Pashinyan. The opposition, however, refrained from giving the specific number of demonstrators.
According to Armenian Police, the rally gathered 6000 participants. Commenting on the report, ANC coordinator noted, “the report is absurd and proves total lack of professionalism.”
Cleared Liberty Square and closure of roads
Liberty Square of Yerevan was ready to host ANC rally on May 31, 07:00 pm local time. The temporary scene and amphitheater set for the May 28 concert dedicated to the Republic’s Day were removed. It was reported earlier that opposition supporters residing in Vanadzor say they cannot arrive in Yerevan to participate in the ANC rally. Meanwhile, an officer of the RA Police stated that all roads leading to Yerevan are open, thus people should not face problems with arrival in the capital.
A rally launched at 7:00 p.m. Yerevan time was opened by Armenian National Movement (ANM) administration board chairman Aram Manukyan, who characterized recent events as a serious step on the way to democracy.
The amnestied editor-in-chief of Haykakakan Zhamanak daily Nikol Pashinyan also spoke at the rally, noting that ANC is launching a political process for snap presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia. As he stressed, snap elections are the only way to restore Armenian people’s trust for their authorities.
Recently amnestied ex-parliamentarian Sasun Mikaelyan characterized the rally as crucial, noting that Armenian people proved they are not to be spoken to in the language of brutal force. According to Mikaelyan, crucial changes are in progress, with new relations formed between the authorities and the opposition and prerequisites for restoration of constitutional order created.
Minor incident occurs at ANC rally
A minor incident occurred at May 31 Armenian National Congress rally. Launching into accusations, opposition supporter Vardges Gaspari demanded that the recently amnestied Ara Hovhannisyan convicted in March 2008 case leave the rally tribune.
The editor-in-chief of Haykakan Zhamanak daily Nikol Pashinyan managed to quiet Gaspari, who refused to specify the crimes he earlier accused Hovhannisyan of.
Levon Ter-Petrossian congratulates rally participants, specifies further actions
ANC leaderLevon Ter-Petrossian congratulated those gathered on the authorities’ fulfillment of 3 main demands advanced by the opposition, which, he noted, is a major victory. Within the next few days, ANC will determine composition of its delegation for negotiations with the authorities. As Levon Ter-Petrossian noted, the delegation’s agenda will include snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Armenia, with the authorities expected to present their own agenda.
ANC to continue rallies
According to ANC leader, the next rally is due in June, with the exact date to be announced later. As he further noted, the rallies will continue throughout the process of negotiations, with rally participants to be briefed on the course of talks.
The rally was followed by a march, with the participants returning to Liberty Square upon its completion. While at Liberty Square, the demonstrators chanted “Levon for President” for half an hour to further leave for their homes.