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Armenia: Opposition Rallies For Social Justice

Yerevan, 13 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Some 5,000 opposition supporters rallied Friday in Yerevan to protest low living standards and to demand what they called social justice in Armenia.

The rally, organized by the newly-created Popular Movement for Social Justice, was the latest in a series of mass protests held in various parts of Armenia in an effort to put pressure on the Armenian authorities.

The new movement is headed by Arshak Sadoyan, a leading figure in the opposition National Democratic Union (AZhM). That party's chairman, former presidential candidate Vazgen Manukyan, said last month it is going to put greater emphasis on social welfare issues in its struggle against the government of President Levon Ter-Petrossyan. Manukyan called for a "mass resistance movement" against what he called "the illegitimate authorities."

Sadoyan told today's rally, which was attended by representatives of several other small opposition parties, that "the social movement" is gaining momentum in Armenia.