Kocharian Addresses Comments by Armenia’s Helsinki Association

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a news conference Monday–Acting President–Prime Minister and presidential candidate Robert Kocharian commented on the statement issued by the Helsinki Association appealing to the international community to recognize the election null and void irrespective of its outcome if he–Robert Kocharian–is registered as presidential candidate.

Kocharian said that Armenia’still lacks impartial organizations. "It is still unclear who this organization is chaired by–with whom it is linked and how. We have one very interesting trait–no one will harm us–as long as we don’t harm ourselves. We are trying to show the world that we are even more ardent Catholics than Pope," Kocharian said.

Asked whether he will assign to governmental positions his rival candidates–if he is elected president–Kocharian said–"It depends on how far these candidates go beyond the limits of elementary ethics during the race for presidency. It depends on their behavior throughout the pre-election process." Kocharian has always maintained that all political forces should be acknowledged in order to end the present-day crisis. After election–Kocharian has pledged to first of all assign a new cabinet and assign a committee to begin work on amending the Armenian Constitution.

Kocharian ruled out the possibility of his return to office if he is not elected president. "Can you imagine the situation a new president will find himself in unless I resign as Prime Minister. I believe he won’t feel like a full-powered president," said Kocharian. He also said that he was determined to win and described the course of pre-election campaigning as normal–except for the incident in Ararat.

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