Armenian opposition set to continue protests, leader says

A1+ web site
30 May 04

An interview with the head of the Justice bloc, MP Stepan Demirchyan.

[Correspondent] Do you intend to continue your protest?

[Demirchyan] Our position and principles are well known and we will
be consistent. Peaceful demonstrations are an integral part of the
opposition's activities. At the same time, we will not confine our
actions to rallies alone. Our actions will be diverse.

[Correspondent] [Defence Minister] Serzh Sarkisyan said that it is
impossible to seize power through rallies, given that there is a
proper power.

[Demirchyan] It is the people who should provide power. There is
no need to seize it as the current leadership did. But no-one can
maintain power through violence and illegality.

[Passage omitted: minor details]

[Correspondent] Do you think that our society will be able to protect
their rights and to achieve legal power?

[Demirchyan] Yes, our country will see positive changes.

[Correspondent] The authorities do not rush to meet PACE's
[Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe] requirements. If
there are no positive changes before the autumn session, would the
opposition take more "dirt" to the session from home?

[Demirchyan] You should not forget that representatives of the
Council of Europe and other international bodies are following the
situation in the country and are well-informed about it. Moreover,
the authorities should draw conclusions from the PACE resolution but
not blame the opposition.

[Correspondent] Do you think that dialogue could be held with the

[Demirchyan] Dialogue is possible if the authorities act within the
law. The constitution's and PACE's demands must not be disputed but
immediately met. Dialogue is possible if we see practical steps
in this direction. However, the authorities are continuing to take
illegal steps.