Opposition Stages Another Rally

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Armenia’s main opposition alliance led by Levon Ter-Petrosian announced a renewed campaign of daily anti-government protests late Friday as thousands of its supporters marched through central Yerevan.

Several dozen protesters began a non-stop sit-in near the city’s Liberty Square cordoned off by hundreds of riot police. Opposition leaders said they will stay there around the clock as part of preparations for Ter-Petrosian’s next, “decisive,” rally scheduled for August 1.

Addressing the crowd before the march, Ter-Petrosian accused President Serzh Sarkisian of continuing his predecessor Robert Kocharian’s alleged crackdown on the opposition launched after the presidential election of February 19.

Major-General Nerses Nazarian, the deputy chief of the Armenian police, indicated that security forces will not break-up the sit-in as he and other senior police strolled along the pedestrian boulevard leading to Liberty Square. “We don’t consider it legal but have no such plans [to disperse the crowd,]” Nazarian told RFE/RL. “Things are going peacefully and, as you can see, there is no need for that. We understand each other.”

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