Kocharian Asks for Free and Fair Elections

YEREVAN (RFE/RL/Armenpress)–In a speech that signaled the start of his reelection campaign–President Robert Kocharian stated "I am sure that Armenia will be the most organized country in the region. That is my slogan."

Speaking to some 6,000 delegates from across the country who were gathered in Yerevan for the third congress of the Union of Armenian Communities–President Kocharian said that fair and just elections would be a clear indication that Armenia has long-cherished joining the most respected human rights body in Europe–the Council of Europe.

Kocharian noted Armenian citizens should realize that electing active and fair people would have a positive effect on their prosperity.

"Armenia will be part of Europe’s system of values. I am confident that Armenia will become the most organized country in the region. An organized community is an obligatory component of an organized society," he said.

Kocharian also urged leaders to ensure the freedom and fairness of local elections scheduled for October 20. "With free and fair elections–we must show that our entry into the Council of Europe was not part of a fashionable trend," he said.

Concerning local governmen’s–Kocharian stressed the need to create a road infrastructure–adequate public utilities and an irrigation system for rural areas–but did not dwell on politics.


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