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Armenia: Opposition Postpones Rally


Yerevan, 18 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian opposition leaders have postponed a rally scheduled today in Yerevan, because city officials said demonstration organizers had failed to meet legal requirements. Opposition leaders tell RFE/RL they will meet the requirements, and re-scheduled the rally for next week.

Today's planned rally would have been the first since President Levon Ter-Petrosyan ordered a ban on public meetings in the aftermath of the violence that followed last month's presidential election.

Opposition leaders also plan an appeal to Armenia's Constitutional Court, requesting a review of the election. The appeal was announced this week by defeated opposition candidate and a former prime minister, Vazgen Manykyan.

According to official results, incumbent President Ter-Petrosyan won the election in the first round. But there have been widespread allegations of vote fraud.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called on Armenian authorities to investigate the disappearance of tens of thousands of ballot papers during the election. The recommendation is one of several contained in the final report of OSCE's Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The report also recommends changes in election procedures and mechanisms to ensure respect for Armenia's election laws.

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