By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Armenia’s former president Levon Ter-Petrosian met with opposition Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian on Thursday in a move that many viewed as an effort to secure the latter’s support for his declared presidential run.
Before and after announcing his presidential candidacy during last month’s large opposition rally in Yerevan, Ter-Petrosian has held consultations with various opposition leaders to ascertain their attitude towards his participation in the approaching presidential election. The most recent of these consultations was held last week when Ter-Petrosian visited the headquarters of the People’s Party of Armenia led by Stepan Demirchian, the son of the assassinated parliament speaker who stood next to Ter-Petrosian during the October 26 rally but has not yet expressly backed the latter’s presidential bid.
“There will be official information,” Ter-Petrosian assured RFE/RL when asked to present the results of his 90-minute meeting with Hovannisian at the latter’s Armenian Center for National and International Studies in Yerevan.
Ter-Petrosian only showed a thumb-up sign when asked to comment on whether the meeting with the ex-foreign minister he fired in 1992 was successful or not.
Armenia’s another ex-foreign minister Alexander Arzumanian, who accompanied Ter-Petrosian at the meeting, was not immediately available for comment.
In a media release later in the day the Heritage party said that during the meting Hovannisian and Ter-Petrosian “exchanged analyses on the republic’s domestic concerns, diplomatic challenges, and political developments in the run-up to the forthcoming presidential elections.”
The party’s political secretary Vartan Khachatrian, who also attended the meeting, told RFE/RL that no issue of the two politicians’ joint efforts or Raffi Hovannisian’s participation in the Ter-Petrosian rally scheduled for November 16 were discussed.
“There was a general discussion of the problems facing the country and the electoral process in general,” Khachatrian said. He added that the two sides had agreed to ensure maximum ‘correctness’ throughout the political process and, if necessary, meet for consultations in the future.