Artashes Geghamian, the leader of the opposition National Accord party, tells “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” that he will not support former president Levon Ter-Petrosian in the forthcoming presidential elections despite hopes harbored by the latter’s supporters. “I get the impression that there are people in Levon Ter-Petrosian’s entourage who are ready to do everything to discredit the former president,” he says. Geghamian also says that he and his supporters represent a “third, independent force” in the Armenian political arena that will “put an end to the current authorities and will not allow the restoration of the former regime.”
Another prominent opposition figure, Stepan Demirchian, is more evasive on the possibility of supporting Ter-Petrosian. “We will talk about it when Levon Ter-Petrosian officially announces his return. At least, there is no cooperation with Ter-Petrosian or the HHSh at the moment,” he tells “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.”
“Aravot” quotes deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian as denying claims by some senior members of his Republican Party (HHK) that the HHK and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) have agreed not to field election candidates against each other. But he says the two parties are taking steps towards such an agreement. “One should not and can not say that everything is already clear,” Torosian says.
In a separate interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Torosian says the October local elections will show whether the major parties supporting President Kocharian can cooperate in next year’s parliamentary elections.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that the impending privatization of the Armenian energy distribution networks has not yet provoked opposition demonstrations, as was the case last year. One of the most vocal opponents of the energy privatization, parliament deputy Arshak Sadoyan, attributes that to the period of summer vacations which has brought the political life to a temporary halt. Sadoyan says the opposition will rescind the expected sell-off if it comes to power.
Interviewed by “Azg,” a leader of the Armenian community in Russia’s Krasnodar region, Hakob Kochkanian, says Krasnodar Armenians are now unable to hold senior posts in the local government. Those who do not have Russian citizenship face even greater discrimination. Kochkanian blames it on the Krasnodar governor, Vladimir Tkachov. He says Tkachov’s recent attempts to deport ethnic minorities from the region have “somewhat united” the Armenian community. “At least, Tkachov has put an end to his [anti-Armenian] public statements and had to move to another post one of his most ‘diligent’ deputies.”