ARF Press Conference on Pre Election Meetings

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The head of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Parliamentary block–Aghvan Vartanian–told reporters yesterday that the (ARF) is holding meetings with various political parties in order to secure agreemen’s so that certain rules are adhered to during upcoming elections.

To date–meetings with six parties have already been held; in the coming two days–the ARF will hold meetings with the Democratic Party–Peoples Party and Republic Party of Armenia.

Vartanian said he attached great importance to following the rules of ethics between different forces–and maintaining stability in the country during the elections.

"The authorities must be able to respect the opposition–and the opposition must not resort to extremes," he said.

Emphasizing the importance of holding free and fair elections–Vartanian pointed out that this a problem for both the opposition and the authorities. He stressed that heightened tension within the country creates an opportunity for ‘outside forces’ to interference–and that this is inadmissible.

According to the ARF–another general problem is that there individuals in parliament solely to protect private or group interests.

Without disputing the necessity of protecting certain economic interests–Vartanian pointed out that this may be done through attorneys or economists–rather than by the ‘person,’ the businessman–himself.

Vartanian expressed optimism that if–as a result of negotiations with various political forces–a corresponding document is signed–then the authorities will have to follow these principles.

Regarding presidential elections–the ARF–according to Vartanian–will clarify its approach at its general meeting to be held in early November.

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