CEC Chairman Claims Kocharian Candidacy Legitimate

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–About 180 million drams (approximately $360,000) are to be earmarked for the organization of the forthcoming presidential election in Armenia–Central Electoral Committee Chairman Khachatour Bezirjian said at a news conference.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry decided to provide free consular registration for Armenia’s currently abroad to ensure their participation in the polls–Bezirjian said.

Regarding the legitimacy of Kocharian’s nomination for president–Bezirjian noted that before Armenia’s independence–citizens of Armenian were Soviet citizens and not those of the Republic of Armenia.

He pointed out that Article 50 of the Armenian Constitution states that every citizen of Armenia who has been living in Armenia for the last 10 years is entitled to be elected President. Bezirjian also referred to a resolution dated December 1–1989–of the Supreme Council of Armenia claiming the reunification of Armenia and Karabakh. Commenting on the possibility of participation of Karabakh Armenia’s in the presidential election–Bezirjian said the people of Karabakh would have to agree to that first.

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