National Assembly Elections Scheduled for May 30

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan–RFE/RL)–In accordance to relevant articles of the Armenian Constitution–President Robert Kocharian Thursday issued a decree announcing that National Assembly elections would be held on May 30.

On Wednesday–Kocharian signed into law Armenia’s new election law–despite calls by some allied parties to veto the document crucial for the outcome of parliamentary elections due in May.

Some factions in parliament said they will try to amend it before the elections. The opposition has said the bill will facilitate vote manipulation in favor of the pro-government Republican Party of Armenia–which pushed it through parliament earlier this month.

But the Republican Party–led by Defense Minister Vazgen Sargsyan–shrugged off opposition concerns saying that it will not seek victory at any cost.

One of the other political parties supporting Kocharian–Self-Determination Union–had urged him to veto the law and demand a greater role for the proportional system.

The law allocates most seats in the next parliament in single-mandate constituencies.

Nerses Zeynalvandian–an SDU deputy–said his party would continue to seek amendmen’s.

Ruben Hakobian–a deputy from another pro-Kocharian party–Armenian Revolutionary Federation–said he will back the initiative.

Opposition lawmakers were more critical in their assessmen’s. "Too bad. I had big hopes that Kocharian will veto the bill," said Gagik Tadevosian–a Communist deputy. A representative of the opposition National Democratic Union again called it "unacceptable."

"The elections will be more or less normal so long as the people are active," he said.

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