Businessman Khachatur Sukiasian said on Wednesday that he remains a staunch supporter of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian more than four years after actively backing the former Armenian president’s unsuccessful bid to return to power.
Sukiasian reaffirmed his membership in Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) and said he would regard HAK deputies as “teammates” in case of his victory in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Sukiasian is running for parliament in a central Yerevan constituency which he represented in the National Assembly until September 2009. He resigned as parliament deputy shortly after returning to Armenia to face controversial criminal charges stemming from the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan. The charges were dropped in February 2011.
The tycoon was among several Ter-Petrosian associates who fled the country in March 2008 to escape arrest following deadly post-election clashes between security forces and opposition protesters demanding a rerun of what they believe was a rigged ballot.
Sukiasian is expected to be challenged by Garegin Nushikian, a fellow businessman believed to have close ties with the influential Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian. He expressed confidence that he will defeat Nushikian.
“Only one issue preoccupies me: the prosecutor-general has no right to engage in politics,” Sukiasian told reporters, referring to the possibility of Hovsepian’s overt support for his rival.
Sukiasian did not rule out the possibility of participating in the May 6 elections on the party-list basis, as a candidate of Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). “It’s up to Levon Ter-Petrosian to decide this,” he said. “If he makes a decision we all will be informed.”