YEREVAN — Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian declared a hunger strike on Sunday in front of thousands of supporters at Liberty Square in Yerevan, pressing his demands for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.

In what he called his “most responsible speech” to date, Hovannisian warned Sarkisian against being sworn in for a second term at an inauguration ceremony scheduled for April 9. “If Mr. Sarkisian takes the false oath of office on the Holy Bible and the constitution and if His Holiness [Catholicos Karekin II] thus desecrates the Bible on April 9, they will do that on my corpse,” he declared.

“Until Mr. Sarkisian withdraws [from the presidency] for the sake of the homeland, his grandchildren, my grandchildren and children, I will stay in Liberty Square, will not eat and will not accept lies and fraud from anyone,” he said.

Hovannisian also made clear that he will hold more rallies in the square during the hunger strike. He scheduled the next demonstration for March 15.
On MOnday, March 11, the Armenian Constitutional Court will hear the case of Raffi Hovannisian’s claim against the Central Election Committee to nullify the official results of the February 18 election.

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