By Anna Saghabalian
The opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party of Raffi Hovannisian said on Friday that it has delayed its crucial decision on whether to join a new, more tightly knit, opposition alliance which is being set up by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian.
Ter-Petrosian and his closest associates are expected to announce the creation of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), at their next Yerevan rally scheduled for August 1. They have urged the more than two dozen opposition groupings, including Zharangutyun, that backed his 2008 presidential bid to join the alliance.
Zharangutyun representatives met Ter-Petrosian aides earlier this week to ascertain issues relating to the HAK’s program, structure and decision-making mechanisms. The Zharangutyun spokesman, Hovsep Khurshudian, said some of the questions raised by them remained unanswered. He did not give details.
The party’s board met late Thursday to discuss the matter but avoided making a final decision. The board chairwoman, Anahit Bakhshian, said the next day that the decision will be made after the HAK takes shape and engages in political activities. “We are in favor of any form of cooperation and will discuss it after the program and statutes of the Armenian National Congress become known,” she told a news conference.
According to Bakhshian, Zharangutyun welcomes the consolidation of opposition forces and will continue the “joint fight for democracy and civil and human rights” with Ter-Petrosian’s movement. Other Zharangutyun leaders have said that the only opposition party represented in Armenia’s parliament shares the movement’s main goals but wants to retain its independence.
Hovannisian, who founded Zharangutyun and remains its top leader, has not yet publicly commented on the issue.
(Photolur photo: Anahit Bakhshian.)