Kocharian Says No to Early Elections

YEREVAN (Armenpress–RFE/RL)–At the Monday session of the Armenian National Assembly–President Robert Kocharian met with members of the Yerkrapah parliamentary faction. Pointing out that with the majority of parliamentarians as its members– Kocharian stressed the Yerkrapah faction held a particular role in decisions made by the National Assembly.

Regarding future activities of the National Assembly–the president stated that dissolution of a parliament is a dangerous step for any state and one taken as an urgent measure in dire circumstances. Kocharian said it would be more correct to hold parliamentary elections at their set time and in the meantime to pass laws regulating those elections.

A discussion regarding new election laws and the government’s economic policy followed. Similar meetings held on a regular basis–as well as extensive discussion regarding new laws were deemed necessary. Kocharian also stressed the importance of government-National Assembly joint activity.

A question and answer session concluded the meeting.

Several Armenian newspapers reported on Mondays two-hour meeting between Kocharian and members of the parliament’s Yerkrapah group. According to "Azg" and "Aravot," Kocharian called for such meetings to be held periodically–which will help "prevent crisis situations in the parliament caused by minor problems."

"Hayastani Hanrapetutyun" quoted him as saying that the parliament should complete its four-year term which expires in summer 1999. Kocharian said dissolving the parliament would be a "dangerous step," and it is usually taken only during "crises."

In an interview with "Aravot," Yerkrapah leader and deputy speaker of the parliament Albert Bazeyan tried to disavow in advance unpopular policies of the government by saying that his organization does not bear "full responsibility" for the government’s actions.

The government’s sphere of activities is "beyond our reach" and "we do not participate" in its decision-making process–Bazeyan said

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