By Anush Dashtents
Paruyr Hayrikian, a prominent politician and Soviet-era dissident who supported Robert Kocharian until recently, said on Wednesday that the Armenian president does not deserve to secure another five-year term because he has failed to deliver on his previous electoral promises.
“We did not back, do not back and, I am sure, will not back the candidacy of Robert Kocharian in the next presidential elections,” he told a news conference, speaking about the electoral strategy of his Self-Determination Union (IM) party.
Hayrikian, who has worked as a presidential adviser for much of the past four years, accused Kocharian of backtracking on promises which he said had been given to the IM during the previous presidential elections held in 1998. He said he is particularly disillusioned with Kocharian’s failure to reform the Armenian constitution -- one of the main pledges of the latter’s 1998 manifesto.
Hayrikian polled 5 percent of the vote in the first round of the 1998 ballot and endorsed Kocharian ahead of the run-off vote, just hours after condemning the elections as fraudulent. Last May, he unexpectedly announced the end of his cooperation with Kocharian.
Hayrikian, who had spent a total of 17 years in Soviet jails for campaigning for Armenia’s independence, said he will again run for president. He also ruled out the possibility of dropping out of the race in support of a single presidential candidate that could possibly be put forward by Armenia’s leading opposition parties.