Hairikian Discusses Joint Statement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Meeting with journalists–on Monday–presidential candidate and Self-Determination Union leader Baruyr Hairikian–said that the March 16 election was the most democratic and fair one in the history of the Armenian people–but "unfortunately several incidents marred the vote."

According to him–that very concern moved him to sign a statement by four candidates. Robert Kocharian was also informed of the statement–but according to Hairikian–he gave no response because of the illness.

Hairikian said the statement should be viewed as a warning to those forces which violate the law. Hairikian said the government would be held responsible for any election day incidents.

Hairikian said that the statement was not aimed at creating havoc–rather it was aimed at solving the problem and condemning mistakes. "We should not hurry to condemn somebody–we must condemn the phenomenon. Condemning people should be left to law enforcement agencies."

"If the leadership takes adequate measures and responds to all violations as it happened after the incident in the town of Ararat–we will go to the run-off without fears," Hairikian noted. Hairikian believes it to be necessary to declare election returns at some precincts null and void.

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