Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian signaled on Tuesday his intention to contest Armenia’s next presidential election due in February 2013.
In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), Ter-Petrosian sounded less certain of his presence in the new Armenian parliament to be elected on May 6.
“As long as I am able, I will fight against these authorities,” he said when asked about his participation in the presidential election. “As long as I am able. Because I consider these authorities an evil that plunders its people and drives it into emigration.”
“I’m not dying yet to think about my successor,” added the man who served as Armenia’s first president from 1991-1998. “Nor am I planning to die. I’m not writing a will.”
Ter-Petrosian, who turned 67 in January, staged a dramatic political comeback in late 2007 to contest the last Armenian presidential election as the main opposition candidate. The ex-president finished second in the February 2008 vote which he and his supporters say was rigged in Serzh Sarkisian’s favor. It was also marred by the deadly suppression of post-election protests staged by Ter-Petrosian.
Ter-Petrosian remained in the political arena after the crackdown, setting up and leading the Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance. The opposition bloc is a major contender in the current parliamentary race and is almost certain to be represented in the next National Assembly.
Asked whether he would take up a parliament seat for the first time since 1990, Ter-Petrosian said, “It depends on what representation we will have there. If we have a majority, I will definitely be in the parliament. If we have 30-40 percent [of parliament seats,] I will have to be there. If not, we will have to find other ways.”