Serj Tankian claims Bush rose to power via a "a coup d'etat without military weapons"...

System Of A Down frontman SERJ TANKIAN has joined an increasingly vocal US rock community in condemning President GEORGE BUSH insisting his rise to power was a bloodless coup.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM during a System Of A Down instore at an LA record shop last week, Tankian said Bush’s controversial victory in the 2000 elections was unlawful. Bush defeated Democratic hopeful Al Gore after winning in Florida, the state governed by his brother Jed, following numerous vote recounts.

“My feelings are that I think that there was a coup d’etat in this country without military weapons a couple of years ago.

“I’m trying to say it lightly, but I think the American dream has definitely been taken for a ride by people with very strong financial concerns whose needs are being met by our foreign policy and whose negative repercussions are meeting us at our doorstep,” he said.

Tankian’s comments follow those of his close friend Tom Morello, formerly guitarist with Rage Against The Machine and now with Audioslave. Two weeks ago, Morello told NME.COM he thought George Bush should be tried as a war criminal if he invaded Iraq. He added that the president had stepped up his sabre-rattling and threats against Saddam as a piece of crude electioneering in a bid to win vital seats in the US senate during the recent mid-term elections.

Morello’s remarks kick-started a wider debate which saw US radio stations, including the huge Kroq channel discuss the NME story on their morning show in LA and New York.