Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian will top the list of candidates of his Armenian National Congress (HAK) in next year’s parliamentary elections, a senior representative of the opposition party said on Friday.
“I am sure that our electoral list will be headed by Levon Ter-Petrosian,” the HAK’s parliamentary leader, Levon Zurabian, told a news briefing.
Asked whether this will be the case if the HAK enters into an opposition alliance, Zurabian said: “If we embark on a process of alliance building, negotiations will be possible, but I don’t think that anyone could suggest a better candidate to top the list.”
Ter-Petrosian was the HAK’s top candidate in the 2012 parliamentary elections which saw his political force win seven seats in the 131-member National Assembly. But he refused to take up his parliament seat, citing his status as former head of state.
Ter-Petrosian decided not to stand, ostensibly because of his old age, in Armenia’s last presidential election held in 2013. The ex-president will turn 72 on January 9.
The HAK is scheduled to hold a pre-election congress on December 17. According to Zurabian, Ter-Petrosian will deliver an extensive speech at the gathering.
In an October statement, the HAK expressed readiness to team up with other opposition groups seeking regime change. It said the parliamentary elections slated for April are an opportunity to oust President Serzh Sarkisian. Ter-Petrosian’s party argued that the Armenian authorities recently enacted a set of opposition-backed legal amendments that will make it much harder for them to rig the vote.