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YEREVAN, June 26. /TASS/. Presenting ultimatum demands to the country’s president is unacceptable, head of Armenian police Lieutenant-General Vladimir Gasparyan told the protesters on Yerevan’s Marshal Baghramyan Avenue on Friday.
The protest organizers said they would agree to meet Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan if the meeting was televised live.
"One cannot present ultimatums to the country’s president and supreme commander, this is not the right way," Gasparyan said. "When the country’s president extends his hand to citizens for three days, the latter must not reject [dialogue]." "This [refusal to hold talks] means that [the people who are at the helm of the protests] have no program, they have nothing to discuss," the general said.
"We need to understand that contradictions cannot be resolved by means of nihilism," Gasparyan told the priests of the Armenian Apostolic Church who are also at the site with the blessing of the church’s head - Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
Mass protest rallies have been underway in Yerevan for several days. The riots erupted after the Commission for regulation of the country’s public services had agreed to increase public electricity tariffs by 16% to meet the request received from CJSC "Electric Networks of Armenia" distribution company, a subsidiary of RAO UES INTERNATIONAL. The measure which is to take effect on August 1 caused a wave of indignation among ordinary Armenians who assumed that the electricity price hike would automatically increase prices for essentials and many services. Many people took to the streets to express dissatisfaction with the authorities’ actions.