The Armenian National Congress (HAK) is in a political “crisis” after a series of blunders committed by its leadership, a senior dissident member of the opposition alliance said on Monday.
Petros Makeyan said the governing body of his Democratic Fatherland party, one of more than a dozen opposition groups making up the HAK, discussed the situation and proposed a plan to overcome it at a weekend meeting. He said the “compact document” will not be publicized before it is discussed with other HAK factions.
Makeyan pointedly declined to confirm or deny media reports that Democratic Fatherland is demanding the resignation of Levon Zurabian, HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s right-hand man who is coordinating the bloc’s day-to-day activities.
Zurabian, who also leads the HAK’s parliamentary faction, likewise refused to comment on those reports. “I don’t know what is happening in the Democratic Fatherland party because various representatives of that party are making contradictory statements through the media,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
According to Makeyan, the alleged HAK crisis explains why Ter-Petrosian decided not to run in the upcoming presidential candidate. The 68-year-old leader, who was the main opposition presidential candidate in 2008, said last month that he is now too old to have another shot at the presidency.
Makeyan dismissed Ter-Petrosian’s explanation as “not convincing.” “That was just an excuse, in my opinion,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
The veteran oppositionist claimed that the HAK’s troubles stem from Ter-Petrosian’s controversial decisions to embark on a dialogue with the government in 2011 and, after that effort collapsed, seek to form an anti-government alliance with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Both moves were grave mistakes that have cost the HAK much of its popularity, he said.
Ter-Petrosian’s overtures to the BHK, a former member of Armenia’s governing coalition, have also been resented by other prominent HAK figures. Some of them left his bloc in protest last year.
Makeyan insisted that despite its serious disagreements with the HAK’s political course his party will formally remain affiliated with the alliance for now.