- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 March 14, 2003 

Camp Complaint: Protestors set up short-lived "city" near CEC

When supporters of Presidential candidate Stepan Demirchyan rallied last weekend in the wake of Robert Kocharyan's re-election, their leaders called on the Opposition to build a "tent city" of protest in Yerevan.

Some answered the call, as by Monday, clusters of tents could be found near the Central Election Commission.

Residents of different regions of the republic with flags and posters gathered in two camps on the left and right sides of the CEC, before the building's barbed wire hedge.

Day and night people from Hrazdan, Gavar, Abovian, Kotayk, Ashtarak, Yerevan, Gyumri, Ararat, Echmiadzin, Martuni gathered as the first days of spring were a bit kinder for such things than the previous winter cold.

The participants talked to each other from time to time, after shouting "Demirchyan is the president", "Kocharyan leave" and other slogans. They shared their concerns, made fires in the evenings, and ate meals prepared by residents of nearby buildings and other districts.

A mother of three children Hasmik Nahapetyan shouted as she railed about the huge number of people leaving Armenia, about her children, who had left the country, about loneliness and justice.

"We are here to make the Central Election Commission to come to their sense, open voting boxes and to make fair calculations," says Vika Karapetyan. "People are with us. We are not going to stop our action till there is a justice."

Others also vowed to carry on till the end.

But for "tent city", the end came about three days after it began. By Wednesday the protestors had gone back to their homes, some vowing to set up action outside Constitutional Court when Demirchyan files his formal complaint alleging the election was stolen from him.


Camp Complaint: Protestors set up short-lived "city" near CEC

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  Photo of the week
  Blooming Mad
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Blooming Mad

March 8 is always the Day of Women in Armenia. This year, however, it was the Day of Angry Women, as a few thousand took their bouquets into the streets to protest last week's Presidential runoff election.



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