By Karine Kalantarian
Opposition member Vazgen Manukian received unanimous nomination by his political party on Wednesday to contest next year’s presidential election.
Speaking at the congress of his National-Democratic Union (AZhM), Manukian urged both political forces and the public “to rally around ideas rather than personalities”, which he said is the only guarantee of success.
He explained the need for the AZhM’s participation in the electoral process by the urgency of changing the current system, the foundations of which, according to him, were laid during the years of the rule of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Pan-Armenian National Movement (HHSh).
“1998 was conditioned by 1996, the October 27 [parliamentary killings] are conditioned by 1998, the banners at the 2007 election,” Manukian charged.
He went on to say that despite the “power change” made in 1997, the system remained the same.
“Electoral mechanisms in Armenia do not work and the power is still concentrated in the hands of a small number of people,” Armenia’s ex-premier said.
At the same time, according to Manukian, “liberal and national ideas are dominant in Armenian minds today.”
“I say let’s rally around ideas,” he said.