Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian expressed readiness on Thursday to enter into a power-sharing agreement with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) after Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
“In case of a favorable correlation of forces, a new, real [governing] coalition could be formed in the [next] National Assembly, replacing the false coalitions that have existed until now and been always dominated by the Republican Party (HHK),” Ter-Petrosian told thousands of supporters of his Armenian National Congress (HAK) rallying in Yerevan.
“The Armenian National Congress does not exclude its participation in a real coalition, while categorically rejecting any cooperation with the Republican and Orinats Yerkir parties which it considers to be our country’s main evil,” he said.
In any case, explained the former Armenian president, the HAK’s “minimum objective” will be to prevent President Serzh Sarkisian’s HHK from retaining its control over the parliament. That would “lay the groundwork for finally getting rid of the criminal regime in the next presidential election” in 2013, he said.
Despite mutual antagonisms among their leaders, the HAK, the BHK and Dashnaktsutyun have been increasingly cooperating ahead of the vote with the stated aim of ensuring its freedom and fairness. They set up a joint anti-fraud headquarters for that purpose last month. The three political heavyweights have said until now that their cooperation is not yet pursuing more far-reaching goals.
Ter-Petrosian stressed the importance of their Inter-Party Center for Public Oversight of the Elections, saying that it will seriously complicate what he described as government efforts to rig the ballot in the HHK’s favor. He claimed that of all Armenian political forces running for the parliament only the HAK, the BHK and Dashnaktsutyun are genuinely interested in a clean vote.
The Ter-Petrosian-led bloc’s growing collaboration with the BHK, which is part of the current ruling coalition, has been condemned by the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party throughout the election campaign. Some Zharangutyun leaders have alleged a secret deal between Ter-Petrosian and Robert Kocharian, another former president widely regarded as the BHK’s political patron. Ter-Petrosian aides have denied that.
The HAK leader on Thursday sounded satisfied with his bloc’s election campaign, saying that it has increased popular interest in the May 6 elections. He at the same time urged Armenians to go to the polls in large numbers.
“It is time to realize that the election outcome depends on the society’s active participation because it is crystal clear that the higher the voter turnout, the more difficult it will be to falsify the elections,” Ter-Petrosian said. “Victory is close and we can’t let it slip out of our hands,” he claimed.