President Serzh Sarkisian will top the list of candidates to be fielded by his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, an HHK deputy chairman predicted on Tuesday.
Razmik Zohrabian also said that the HHK will not form an electoral alliance with its two junior coalition partners or any other political group. “We are going it alone,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Throughout last year HHK representatives did not rule out the possibility of the Republicans joining forces with the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Orinats Yerkir parties for the May 2012 vote. Talk of such an alliance intensified last month after weeks of friction between the HHK and the BHK.
Zohrabian said that the presidential party will announce its list of candidates after a pre-election congress due in late February or early March. “Serzh Sarkisian is the chairman of our party and I think he will head [the list,]” he said.
In that case Sarkisian would be the first Armenian president to run for the National Assembly while in office. His political opponents could denounce the move as unconstitutional.
According to Zohrabian, it is not yet clear whose name will be second on the HHK’s electoral list. He did not deny that Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and Hovik Abrahamian, the HHK’s campaign manager, are vying for the vacant spot. “Perhaps there is a little rivalry but it’s not visible,” he said.
Zohrabian added that it is President Sarkisian who will determine who should occupy the top spots on the list. “Since we are a presidential republic and a presidential party, the president has final say in our affairs,” he said.