his first public appearance following the publication
of official results of elections President Robert
Kocharyan said earlier this week that voting irregularities
did not impact the election outcome.
"There is no political crisis in Armenia,"
he said. "We have a process related to elections."
During the meeting with journalists in his office
on Wednesday, Kocharyan said the action of the
Opposition was predictable and was rather aimed
toward having an advantage during Parliamentary
elections in May. Kocharyan said that his opponents
produced propaganda to stir public grievance.
"These actions of the Opposition can be
understood from a tactical viewpoint, but one
should not endanger the image of his own country
for personal purposes," he said.
The President said, however, he did not see the
elections as ideal.
He said he asked the foreign observers about
the standards by which they estimate the elections
and if they took into consideration that Armenia
is a new State. The answer, he said, was that
elections are estimated according to the same
international standards in all countries.
Kocharyan said he regretted the critical report
from the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe, but said that observers cannot question
the legitimacy of the elections.
"The international observers have been stricter
than in 1998. The observers' expectations have
been weightier than we expected," he said.
"If we compare the elections to Great Britain
or France they did not meet international standards.
"But we hold elections for the country not
for a report. Of course we would have liked the
elections to be estimated positively. (But) we
are an independent state and our independence
should be respected."
As for the difference of estimations between
Commonwealth of Independent States and OSCE observers
it should not be linked to the different geopolitical
interests, the President said.
Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Kocharyan stated that the estimation of observers
could not impact a Karabakh-Azerbaijan settlement.
"The position of Armenia in international
negotiation would be the same clear and exact."
Kocharyan says his Government is in charge of
that position at least during the following five
years and assures that his administration is strong
enough to stabilize any unrest created by the
tense campaign and election aftermath.
"We have many things to do. I personally
have a program, which I presented for public consideration,"
the President said. "Another (additional)
30-40,000 jobs should be created. It is important
that no one prevents me from the implementation
of that program."