Armenian leader against post of capital's mayor being elective

Mediamax news agency
19 Mar 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said today that he backs the idea
of passing a law on the status of Yerevan.

At the same time, he recalled, answering a question from a Mediamax
correspondent, that the constitution should be reformed to resolve the
problem as it equates Yerevan with other regions of the country.

As for the issue of whether the mayor of the capital should be elected
by the people or appointed by the president, Kocharyan said: "Only a
third of Armenia's population lives in Yerevan, and if the mayor
represents a political force that is in opposition to the head of
state, this will contain quite serious conflict potential."

The president stressed that the issue should be thoroughly discussed,
and "if the post of Yerevan mayor becomes elective, it will be
necessary to think about certain mechanisms of restraint, which will
make it possible to stabilize the situation in the event of a possible
political confrontation".