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Armenian Ruling Parties Clash In Yerevan

YEREVAN -- Supporters of Armenia's two largest pro-government parties clashed in Yerevan on May 12 at an election campaign office of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Scores of police were outside the HHK office in the capital's Kanaker-Zeytun district to keep a group of activists of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) from "scuffling and quarreling" with HHK officials.

Newspapers report that the BHK attack was in retaliation for a beating earlier in the day of their comrades by HHK campaigners armed with clubs.

The opposition daily "Chorrord Ishkhanutyun" said the beating was ordered by Arayik Kotanjian, the HHK head of the Kanaker-Zeytun district.

Kotanjian refused to comment to RFE/RL.

Gagik Mkrtchian, deputy head of the HHK branch in Kanaker-Zeytun, called the incident at the campaign office a "normal working process."

Tensions between parties are high as municipal elections will be held on May 31 that will determine Yerevan's mayor.