By Anna Saghabalian
A prominent opposition leader has rejected any possible alliance with pro-government forces ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
Stepan Demirchian, leader of the People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK), told the media on Monday that the party he leads will either participate in the elections separately or in a bloc with other opposition forces.
“The only way is to struggle and I am convinced that the opposition will still have its say,” Demirchian said.
Demirchian did not rule out the possibility of cooperation with Orinats Yerkir, a former ruling coalition member party led by ex-parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian.
“We are ready for cooperation if Orinats Yerkir declares that it is in opposition,” he said, adding that they already cooperate with this party in the legislative process in parliament.
The HZhK congress originally planned for this month has been postponed for what the party’s leader describes as technical reasons.
The congress, according to him, is likely to be held in January or February 2007.
Demirchian also hailed the idea of all prominent opposition leaders having their nominations in single-mandate constituencies, but added that it is also important for opposition leaders to concentrate on work for the benefit of their parties.
The oppositionist accused different wings of power for already using administrative resource and channeling part of their illicit profits at influencing political processes in the country.
“There are already pressures, including against journalists. People in different fields are forced to become partisans, now this is being done in the tax and customs spheres as well,” Demirchian claimed.
Demirchian also spoke about the outside influences on elections in Armenia. “One cannot underestimate the factor of outside influence on elections, but let’s not overestimate it either,” Demirchian said, adding that his party will rely only on the Armenian people and will participate in the elections to win.