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Aremenia: Rally Spurs Opposition's Hopes About Sunday's Elections

Yerevan, 20 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian opposition leaders say they are optimistic that they've gained enough momentum to prevent President Levon Ter-Petrossian from winning Sunday's presidential election on the first ballot.

The opposition rally gathered about 30,000 supporters in Yerevan yesterday. Our correspondent reports that opposition candidate Vazgen Manukian hopes the momentum will continue to grow in his favor through Sunday's ballot and until a second round.

Since last month, three other opposition candidates have withdrawn from the presidential race and thrown their support behind Manukian, giving him a moral boost as well as campaign assistance.

At the rally, Manukian denounced Ter-Petrossian's rule and called for unity among the opposition.

Our correspondent reports that the rally was the largest since the early 1990s.