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Ex-Aide Sees No Kocharian Presidential Bid


Armenia -- Garnik Isagulian, an aide to President Serzh Sarkisian, holds a news conference, 4 March 2010.

Armenia -- Garnik Isagulian, an aide to President Serzh Sarkisian, holds a news conference, 4 March 2010.

A former aide to Robert Kocharian predicted on Friday that the former president will not stand as a candidate in Armenia’s next presidential election due in February 2013.

“If they [President Serzh Sarkisian and Kocharian] both run for president, rest assured that I will have a serious conversation with both of them to understand what’s happening,” Garnik Isagulian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “But I don’t think such a thing will happen and they will simultaneously nominate their candidacies.”

“I think that there is every chance of President Serzh Sarkisian serving a second term in office, and I think his second term will be much more fruitful than the first one,” said Isagulian, who served as Kocharian’s national security adviser from 2004-2008.

Over the past year, Kocharian, who handed over power to Sarkisian in 2008, has signaled his dissatisfaction with the current Armenian president’s track record, and hinted at his desire to return to active politics. He said in May that his comeback hinges on the extent of popular support for him.

Kocharian is widely associated with the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) of businessman Gagik Tsarukian. The BHK quit Armenia’s governing coalition after parliamentary elections in May.

Isagulian spoke to RFE/RL the day after being dismissed as Sarkisian’s legal representative to the Armenian parliament and replaced by Victor Dallakian, a former opposition politician. He insisted that his ties with Kocharian were not the reason for the sacking and that he and Sarkisian remain “good friends.”

“A new National Assembly has been formed and an appropriate person is needed to work with the new National Assembly,” said Isagulian. “Viktor Dallakian is that person.”

“I don’t make secret of the fact that I will definitely meet with Robert Kocharian at the first opportunity. He has been and remains one of my best friends,” he added.
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