YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Rafael Ghazarian–the chairman of the Scientific-Industrial and Civil Union–described the "Trial of 31" as one of the remarkable events of the past year. According to him–the course and end of the trial have shown that the country’s leadership would resort to any kind of violence and falsity to retain power. He thinks that the Armenian authorities are deviating further and further from the chosen democratic path.
Ghazarian also referred to the importance of shifts taking place in the Karabakh issue. According to him–although there had been attempts to convince the Armenia’s that the only possible way of avoiding war is to return Karabakh to Azeri rule–the nation firmly said "no" to Ter-Petrosyan’s offer.
Ghazarian voiced concern over "the insolvency of the opposition," stressing that in 1997 the opposition "brought to naught" the people’s victory in the 1996 elections. "I am rather upset over the time-serving and conciliatory behavior of some of the opposition parties which by no means promotes the solution of our major problem–that is to remove Levon Ter-Petrosyan from his post which was seized by force," he said.
Ghazarian thinks it is crucial to organize an opposition movement such as a Council on Rescue of Artsakh and a Council of Intelligentsia–as well as to rally all socialist forces around that problem. "I am certain that the problem will be solved in accordance with the will of the Armenian people," Ghazarian said.