Kocharian Proposes National Unity as Solution to Crisis

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Until today–I have never given anyone reason to think that I may turn back at the half-way point–or betray the trust with which I was honored"–Acting President–Prime Minister and presidential candidate Robert Kocharian said at a "Justice and Unity."

Kocharian stressed the significance of the fact that the organizations did not unite to say "no," but to realize common aspirations–goals–and a common future. "If the Armenian people have no single goal–they will never be freed from this crisis," Kocharian said. The goal–according to Kocharian–must be high and the tasks very clear. Achievement of these goals is dependent on national unity–he said.

Kocharian noted that due to dire social conditions in the country–a great part of the people thinks it is electing a savior and not a president–which is very dangerous both for the candidate elected and the people. According to Kocharian–it is necessary to explain to the people that they are electing a president who must abide by the Constitution and said laws. "To characterize the president as a mythical savior is very dangerous for our people," Kocharian emphasized.

Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia representative Vahan Hovanessian said that a new phase in the modern history of Armenia is beginning. "Let us elect our president via a truly fair election–and we will have a normal–democratic–free and developing country," he said. Hovanessian adamantly refuted statemen’s alleging that the people who "through their reports pushed Levon Ter-Petrosyan to commit his biggest mistake–banning the ARF–are today speaking of democracy."

"The people who would agree to having Karabakh within Azerbaijan–are speaking today of national values–restoration of national values through school reform. We see how people–whose cities they had built by their own hands fell in the earthquake–are coming about as creators of our state," Hovanessian said. He voiced confidence that the Armenian people should pin its hopes on Kocharian–otherwise "we may face a serious catastrophe."

Albert Bazeyan–deputy chairman of the National Assembly–and deputy chairman of the parliamentary faction of the Yerkrapah battalion–said that Kocharian is capable of eliminating hostility between the authorities and the opposition existent during the former administration. He said that if Kocharian is elected president–Armenia will proceed on its natural path of democracy.

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