Armenia prepares for presidential elections

Armenia prepares for presidential elections
Armenia prepares for presidential elections

Armenia wakes up after summer. The political situation begins to adapt to the presidential elections in February 2013. Leaders of the union National Self-Determination and the party New Times, Parujr Ajrikian and Aram Karapetian, intend to go to the polls. But both of them are outsiders. Most likely, this group will include two or three more candidates who take part in elections for participation only.

The more important politician, the chairman of the opposition party Heritage, Raffi Ovannosian, stated on ontention to participate in the elections. The former US citizen who gained Armenian citizenship in the early 2000s has the right to go to the polls for the first time. Ovannisian stated that Armenia needs an innovative president who would be able to fulfill necessary reforms. Moreover, he said that the law should be supreme in the country, power branches should be separated, major business should be separated from the public management, and a vicious monopoly system should be destroyed.

After the July session the administration of Dashnaktsutyun declared that the party might present its own candidate at the presidential elections, but his name is still unknown.

Nevertheless, none of key players has stated on participation in the elections officially. Of course, it doesn’t concern Serge Sargsyan. Nobody has doubts that the current president will go to the polls. We mean his predecessors who were politically active during Sargsyan’s term. At the moment, observers reject the possibility of Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharyan’s participation in the elections.

The head of the research center “Sociometer”, Agaron Adibekian, thinks that if Robert Kocharyan sees surveys data, he won’t take part in the elections. “Levon Ter-Petrosyan has no chances to be a common candidate from the opposition, while nomination from the ANC will lead to failure.”

The head of the Regional Research Center, Richard Giragosian, believes that participation of both ex-presidents is unlikely: “Ter-Petrosyan presents a significant political force, and at the moment he is an active player involved into Armenian politics. But I think it would be reasonable for Ter-Petrosyan not to participate in the elections again.”

The same view is shared by the deputy director of the institute Kavkaz, Sergey Minasian, who says that Ter-Petrosyan is not new: “The ANC has lost a big part of its followers; the political field was divided between the Republican Party of Armenia and Prosperous Armenia. Levon Ter-Petrosyan has always had political intuition. That is why he is biding time.”

Considering huge political experience of Ter-Petrosyan and Kcharyan, we should not exclude the other way of developments, moreover, 5 months are left ahead of the elections. In this sense the recent sensational statement by the former aide of Kocharyan, Garnik Isagulian, on existence of a secret organization “Mgeri Dur” which collects information on Armenian elite is interesting. Isagulian said that the organization has the list of all military and political activists who have had power, including information on their private and social activity. Referring the list, Isagulian stated that since 1994 about $17 billion were taken away from Armenia.

The political technologist Armen Badalian says that Isagulian’s statement should be considered only in the context of coming elections.” Of course, nobody will publish damaging information or state on its existence for free. Blackmailing elements are clearly seen in the statement by the former aide of the president. It is difficult to say who stands behind this affair,” the political technologist states. He also affirms that Robert Kocharyan might stand behind Isagulian.

One more major political player in the country is the chairman of the party Prosperous Armenia, Gagik Tsarukian, who is not in a hurry to express his view on the elections. The pro-governmental mass media makes confident statements that Tsarukian will support Sargsyan in the elections. The leader of PA continues to keep silence. At the moment it is difficult to predict PA’s plans, but it is impossible to believe that such a powerful political force will remain indifferent to the elections.

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