Monday, 10 March 2008

Armenian Assembly continues to emphasize importance of democratic principles, end to violence

Washington, DC – While the Constitutional Court has issued its ruling upholding the election results as announced by the Central Election Commission, the Armenian Assembly of America continues to be concerned about the restrictions imposed by President Robert Kocharian’s Administration, including respect for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as well as ongoing arrests and detentions. We urge that the basic civil rights protections be upheld.

No one wishes to see a repetition of the events of March 1, 2008, and we urge that any further violence be avoided at all costs. It is imperative that the rule of law prevail, and that the media fairly and accurately cover the developments.

We are also keenly aware that the political divisions that have been created in Armenia have already begun to impact the Diaspora. We continue to receive calls from across the country from supporters and friends alike who have voiced their strong concerns and expectations.

There is no doubt that this is a critical time for the future of Armenia and its citizens. The need for political dialogue is great, as many have expressed their strong dissatisfaction and disappointment with what the OSCE has called “implausibly” high voter turnout at specific Precinct Election Commissions.

We note that the Prime Minister has discussed the need to heal the country and called for reconciliation. We also note that Armenia’s Ombudsman has issued a statement, which called for political dialogue. We appreciate these statements. We encourage continued participation of Armenia’s electorate and urge ongoing engagement in the process to ensure open, honest and sincere dialogue with all political forces involved with the presidential election to heal the country for the betterment of all Armenians.

Armenian Assembly of America

*source; [emphasis mine]

**Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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