By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Armenia’s former president, Levon Ter-Petrosian, left on Wednesday more indications that he will not after all contest the upcoming presidential elections. Sources close to him told RFE/RL that the decision will be announced at Thursday’s congress of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), the former ruling party.
Ter-Petrosian’s official spokesman, Artashes Avagian, declined to confirm or refute the reports. Still, the ex-president did signal his reluctance to return to active politics when he refused to meet with representatives of more than two dozen non-governmental organizations that want him to take part in the elections.
Meeting last, those groups formed an umbrella structure which was expected to nominate Ter-Petrosian as a presidential candidate. Its members hoped to meet with Ter-Petrosian on Wednesday. Its chairman, Perj Ghazarian, said: “The meeting didn’t take place because he probably changed his mind. He said he will receive us later.”
But Ghazarian and other activists claimed that Ter-Petrosian has not yet made any decisions and is still weighing up the situation.
Meanwhile, HHSh leaders, who hope that Ter-Petrosian’s comeback would ensure their return to the country’s political elite, were unusually tight-lipped about their latest contacts with him. The opposition party will finalize its electoral plans at its congress on Thursday.