Justice Minister Discusses ARF Reinstatement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)-Armenia’s Justice Minister Marat Alexanian said that documen’s which had been submitted to the Ministry by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia are not sufficient to lift the ban on activities of the party in Armenia.

The Ministry of Justice has yet to officially respond to the Executive Councils August 11–1996 letter related to the ARF’s reinstatement.

"We do not oppose the re-opening of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in Armenia–if this is done within the law in effect," Alexanian said Tuesday after a meeting with ARF Executive Council representatives Rouben Hakobian– Gagik Mktrchian and Roland Sharoyan.

A second meeting was held Wednesday–and per Alexanian’s request–representatives of media were also invited to attend.

Hakobian–the Executive Councils political representative– said Wednesday that the partys representatives had repeatedly applied to the Ministry of Justice in hopes of receiving explanations of how to lift the ban on the ARFs activities in Armenia. "However–we were only told what should not be done–and nobody explained to us what we should do," he stressed.

"Unfortunately–Armenian law includes a mechanism to ban a political party–but lacks a mechanism to reinstate that same banned party," Hakobian said–adding "The ARF– therefore–must look for a way out of the inconsistencies in Armenian law."

"From the beginning–we were convinced that the banning of the ARF in Armenia was a political act because other parties–with similar structures and memberships– continue to operate in Armenia," Hakobian said–casting doubt on the Supreme Courts Jan. 13–1995 decision sanctioning Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s decree to ban the ARF.

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