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Kocharian Hails Start of Referendum Campaign

By Ruzanna Stepanian

Talking to the media on Wednesday President Robert Kocharian expressed a hope that the campaign will continue gaining momentum in the run-up to the constitutional referendum scheduled for next month.

“The campaign is only beginning. I don’t think we have a very hot campaign now, but the wheels have started to roll. I only welcome it,” he said.

The president said that one of the problems to be solved in the near future is keeping the public aware of the contains and essence of the planned constitutional reform that will be submitted to people’s judgment on November 27.

“We have quite a large quantity of printed copies of the draft, which we will try to deliver to every single family in Armenia so that our public gets the opportunity to draw conclusions not only from comments, but also immediately,” said Kocharian, adding that it is still a little early to give evaluations.

“I think the campaign will be more vigorous in two weeks,” he said.

Kocharian also spoke about the recent local elections, stressing the positive evaluation given to them by the international observers.

“I think that perhaps with the exception of two or three communities the elections passed in a calm atmosphere and in accordance with the law. My evaluation is positive,” the president said. “There were changes in different towns. It is the choice of the people and we are ready to work with every community leader who earned people’s votes.”

As regards the impact of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan on the Karabakh peace process, Kocharian said: “I don’t think they will have any serious impact. I don’t think we should link the Karabakh problem with pre-election sentiments or election outcomes in Azerbaijan.”

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