A major Armenian opposition party and a veteran politician who has quit it in protest admitted on Monday making mistakes in an acrimonious dispute that overshadowed its recent congress attended by its unofficial leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian.
The politician, Karapet Rubinian, apologized to Ter-Petrosian after the leadership of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) accepted some of his criticism of the gathering’s conduct.
Rubinian resigned from the HHSh this week, accusing Ter-Petrosian of imposing his will on a party that governed Armenia from 1990-1998. He claimed that the top leader of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), of which the HHSh is a key member, pressured delegates not to elect him to the party’s governing board during the congress.
He called that a retribution for his criticism of the opposition bloc’s strategy of political struggle. Aram Manukian, the newly elected board chairman, dismissed the accusations.
In a written statement, Manukian said he and other party figures met with Rubinian last week and acknowledged that organizers of the HHSh congress made “some organizational mistakes.” He said they regret “inadvertently offending” the prominent oppositionist.
Rubinian issued a separate statement the same day withdrawing his “unjustified allegations” against Ter-Petrosian.
“The disagreements have not been ironed out,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service later on Monday. “It’s just that both sides consider unpleasant the fact that the authorities are gloating about what happened. And so we decided to somehow stop that process.”
“I received assurances that was no personal bias or stifling of dissent on the part of Levon Ter-Petrosian, and I apologized to him on that count,” said Rubinian. He also clarified that he will not return to the HHSh but will remain a member of the HAK.