Zharangutyun (Heritage) party leader Raffi Hovannisian on Wednesday sought to position himself as the main opposition candidate to challenge President Serzh Sarkisian in next February’s presidential election.
Visiting the northern city of Vanadzor, Hovannisian was asked by reporters about the possibility of Armenia’s leading opposition groups nominating a joint presidential candidate. He replied that he would welcome those who would rally around his presidential bid.
“If any other party, party leader or civic movement activist wants to back a common candidate embodied me and my vision of Armenia, then I think that will make the forthcoming [opposition] victory more convincing,” Hovannisian said. He again claimed that Sarkisian will fail to win reelection if the February 18 election is genuinely free and fair.
Hovannisian, whose party is represented in Armenia’s parliament by three deputies, officially confirmed his participation in the vote on November 2. He urged other major opposition groups as well as civic activists and public figures to endorse his candidacy. None of them has done yet.