Decision 2013: Hovannisian in talks with Sargsyan amid post-election standoff

Decision 2013: Hovannisian in talks with Sargsyan amid post-election standoff


Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, who is disputing the outcome of the Monday presidential election officially giving victory to President Serzh Sargsyan, told a group of his supporters in Liberty Square today that he was heading for talks with the incumbent.

The leader of the opposition Heritage party, who officially polled close to 37 percent of the vote in the ballot, as opposed to Sargsyan’s official count of about 59 percent, yesterday gave Sargsyan until 2 pm today to meet him to start discussions on the transfer of power to the people – a definition that a Sargsyan spokesman said was “vague”.

Earlier, the presidential aide said the head of state was ready to meet Hovannisian “at any time” convenient to the opposition leader.

In his brief speech Hovannisian cited these words of the presidential spokesman, saying that he was going to meet the president now. At this moment people follow Raffi to the Presidential Palace situated about a kilometer from Liberty Square.

Hovannisian entered the Presidential Palace in 26 Baghramyan Street at around 1 pm. An ArmeniaNow correspondent reports that the opposition leader wanted a journalist and a cameraman to be present at the meeting, which apparently didn't work. Earlier, Hovannisian said he was ready for both a public and private meeting with Sargsyan.

It has also been announced that the next rally of Hovannisian supporters will be held in Liberty Square on Friday (kick off at 5 pm).

Earlier, Sargsyan’s Republican Party of Armenia officially cancelled its planned political gathering in the square to avoid “competing rallies” fraught with clashes.

Also, the Armenian police issued a statement warning rally participants to remain peaceful in their actions.