Tuesday, December 13, 2005


By Ruzanna Stepanian

Radio Liberty, Czechia
Dec. 12, 2005

President Robert Kocharian will not respond to grave accusations contained in an open letter sent to him by opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, his spokesman said on Monday.

The letter, read out by Hovannisian at an opposition rally in Yerevan on Friday, challenged Kocharian to publicly clarify whether he has rigged elections or had anyone killed while governing Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. The leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party personally delivered it to the presidential office after the protest.

"It is difficult to describe that piece of paper as a letter," the presidential press secretary, Victor Soghomonian, told RFE/RL. "It's complete nonsense. Naturally, the president does not answer such ludicrous pieces of paper."

"It's a pity and shame," Hovannisian responded in a brief written statement later in the day. "But putting labels, finding excuses and failing to respond itself is a quite telling answer."

The letter consisting of 21 questions marked a further toughening of the former Armenian foreign minister's stance against the Kocharian regime. One of those questions effectively implicated Kocharian in high-profile political murders committed in Karabakh and Armenia.

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