The opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) said on Wednesday that it will not reconsider after all its decision to boycott the work of Yerevan’s municipal assembly that was elected more than three years ago.
The HAK won 13 seats in the 65-member Council of Elders in municipal elections held in May 2009. It rejected their official results as fraudulent and refused to join the council at the time.
The HAK technically still controls those seats because it never abandoned them in a manner defined by Armenian law. Its senior representatives said in May that the bloc led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian will consider taking up its 13 mandates in view of a “new political situation” in Armenia.
“I don’t think that we will participate in sessions of the Council of Elders,” Levon Zurabian, the HAK coordinator, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “At one point, there was talk about engaging our young activists in that work. But that idea is a bit difficult to implement and is perceived in different ways.”
“We consider the issue closed,” Zurabian said. “We are looking to the future. The Congress is facing much more serious and pressing issues,” he added.
One of the opposition members elected to the Yerevan council on the HAK ticket, Ruben Torosian, did take up his seat without the HAK leadership’s consent earlier this summer.
The council, which elects the city’s mayors, is controlled by President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) holding 35 seats there. The remaining 17 seats are controlled by the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).
Despite reaffirming the boycott, the HAK has fielded candidates for the municipal councils of other major cities and towns, which will be elected on September 9. Zurabian said the nominations were initiated by local HAK chapters.