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groong: Armenian president warns opposition against coup attempt

Arminfo

3 Apr 04

YEREVAN

“My main responsibility as the president is to ensure stability and
security and to guarantee the natural functioning of all the branches
of power,” Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said at a meeting with
representatives of the intelligentsia today, commenting on the recent
events linked to the opposition’s actions.

It is clear that the opposition should exist, he said, because its
actions stimulate the executive authorities’ activities. Under
Armenian law and international agreements signed by the Republic of
Armenia, the opposition is protected by the law. But when the
opposition issues certain calls and initiates a process aimed at the
unconstitutional overthrow of the authorities, it is regarded as a
coup attempt. In doing so, the opposition gives up its opposition
status and acquires the status of revolutionaries and those who are
trying to stage a coup. Having acquired this status, the opposition
loses all the privileges and protection it had before and has in all
the democratic countries. All the aforesaid is absolutely simple and
logical – “if you are in opposition and behave in a civilized way and
within the framework of the law, you are protected by the law. As soon
as you change your status of your own volition, you should expect that
in the new status of a coup plotter, you will face all the ‘delights’
of this status”, the Armenian president stressed.

He went on to say that for many months he had been rather patiently
responding to everything the opposition was doing, although many
citizens were perplexed – “why is he not intervening?”. It was not
cowardice, on the contrary, it is precisely calmness and patience that
are a demonstration of strength, whereas hysteria is a demonstration
of weakness. If someone does not understand this, then the state, with
all its agencies, will react to everything that is going on. “I expect
that our public, including the intelligentsia, will react to
everything that is going on as it concerns everyone and nobody will
benefit from that.” After the competent and appropriate implementation
of its functions, the state will demonstrate once again that it is
capable of overcoming another ordeal in the context of preventing the
actions of the aggressive political minority.

“Our response should correspond to the threat that might be looming
over us, and the country should overcome this ordeal and I am sure
that it will. The overwhelming majority of people have always been
able to find their bearings correctly, which is why Armenia is the
most stable country in the region, unlike its neighbours which had
many problems after gaining independence,” the head of state said.

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