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Armenia: Opposition Holds First Rally After Ban Lifted

Prague, 29 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian opposition parties last week held their first rally since the government lifted the emergency ban it had placed on demonstrations following a clash one month ago between protesters and security forces over the oytcome of presidential elections.

Observers estimate that at least 40,000 people participated in the officially sanctioned two-hour rally, which was held without incident.

Opposition leaders called for a fair decision by the Constitutional Court regarding charges of detrimental fraud in last month's presidential elections. The main opposition candidate, Vazgen Manukian has officially appealed to the court to review alleged irregularities.

The re-elected president and the opposition have said they will accept the court's decision. However, the opposition has voiced concern that the court, which is appointed by the president, could render a biased decision since the president also has the right to fire judges.

Organizers announced another rally for Friday.