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No Opposition Agreement On Yerevan Election Bloc


Armenia - Levon Zurabian (C) and Aram Manukian (R) of the Armenian National Congress visit fellow opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian in Yerevan's Liberty Square, 13Mar2013.

Armenia - Levon Zurabian (C) and Aram Manukian (R) of the Armenian National Congress visit fellow opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian in Yerevan's Liberty Square, 13Mar2013.

Armenia’s four main political groups challenging the government have failed to agree on the creation of a broad-based alliance for the upcoming municipal elections in Yerevan, the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) said on Thursday.

The HAK called for such an alliance early this week before holding talks with representatives of the opposition Zharangutyun and Dashnaktsutyun parties and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). It said they will win control over the Yerevan municipality if they jointly participate in the May 5 elections.

“There have been many consultations and negotiations among these four political forces in different formats,” Levon Zurabian, the HAK’s parliamentary leader told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “In terms of a joint list of candidates, it looks like we have not reached any result.”

“But I think that this should not be seen as a tragedy because it is much more important to form a four-party framework that would aim to return power in Yerevan to the people,” he said.

Zurabian did not disclose the reasons why the talks ended in failure.

The BHK, which has the second largest faction in the national parliament, said on Tuesday that it will agree to team up with the three opposition groups only if it plays a central role in the would-be bloc.

According to Zurabian, the four forces can still work together in the Yerevan polls without setting up such a bloc. He said the HAK believes that they should agree to refrain from criticizing each other, jointly fight against possible vote rigging and cut a power-sharing deal if the ruling Republican Party (HHK) fails to retain its majority in the municipal assembly electing Yerevan’s mayor.

“We are continuing consultations,” said Zurabian. “There is no four-party agreement yet that can be presented to the people. But there is a general inclination to make such a decision.”
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