By Armen Zakarian
The Armenian Communist Party (HKK), one of the largest in the country, has so far not officially joined an alliance of left-wing opposition forces despite being one of the initiators of its creation one month ago.
Leaders of six small parties making up Socialist Armenia bloc said on Tuesday the HKK is showing no interest in cooperating with them for unknown reasons. “The Communist Party is not taking any practical steps to join in,” Democratic Party leader Aram Sarkisian told a news conference.
Communist leaders are declining to comment on their intentions regarding Socialist Armenia. They say only that the decision to join forces with other left-wing parties opposed to President Robert Kocharian was taken by the HKK’s ruling Bureau and has yet to be to endorsed by its larger Central Committee.
The Central Committee has never blocked bureau decisions before.
The party’s first secretary, Vladimir Darpinian, was among the politicians who announced Socialist Armenia’s creation on December 26. Darpinian said they share the common goal of restoring state control of the Armenian economy and leading Armenia into the Russia-Belarus union. He said the bloc will put forward a single list of candidates for the next parliamentary elections due in 2003.
The Communists’ refusal to become a member of Socialist Armenia would significantly diminish its electoral chances.
Meanwhile, the bloc’s leaders claimed on Tuesday that they are unable to convene its founding congress because of hurdles created by the authorities. They blamed the authorities for the failure of their attempts to rent a conference hall in Yerevan.
The conference was scheduled to take place on Wednesday.