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Opposition Parties Confirm Alliance With Kocharian


Armenia -- The Armenian Revolutionary Federation holds a rally in Yerevan's Liberty Square, May 23, 2019.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and another opposition party officially confirmed on Thursday that they will join forces with former President Robert Kocharian to participate in snap parliamentary elections expected in June.

“We will soon make a joint statement on the formation of the alliance, its name, electoral list and other tasks,” Ishkhan Saghatelian, the head of Dashnaktsutyun’s governing body in Armenia, said in a video address posted on Facebook.

Saghatelian said the Dashnaktsutyun leadership has decided to team up with Kocharian and the newly established party called Resurgent Armenia because they have similar “visions for Armenia’s future.”

Dashnaktsutyun, which also has branches in Armenian Diaspora communities around the world, was allied to Kocharian when he ruled the country from 1998-2008. It is not represented in the current parliament, having garnered only about 4 percent of the vote in the last elections held in December 2018.

Resurgent Armenia announced the creation of the alliance in a separate statement. It said the alliance will be led by Kocharian.

The party, which held its founding congress earlier this week, is led by Vahe Hakobian, a former governor of Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province. Most of its senior members are elected local government officials and other well-known residents of the region sandwiched between Iran, Azerbaijan and its Nakhichevan exclave.

They have angrily challenged Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in recent months, blaming him for Armenia’s defeat in the autumn war in Nagorno-Karabakh which left Syunik facing serious security challenges.

The Resurgent Armenia statement said the “grave situation in Armenia and Karabakh” is what necessitates the party’s electoral alliance with “like-minded political forces.”

Armenia - Former President Robert Kocharian meets with supporters, Yerevan, April 21, 2021.
Armenia - Former President Robert Kocharian meets with supporters, Yerevan, April 21, 2021.

Kocharian did not immediately comment on the announcements made by the two parties. But he did say last month that he will lead a bloc comprising at least two opposition parties. He expressed confidence that it will be Pashinian’s main election challenger.

The announcements came the day after Levon Ter-Petrosian, who had served as Armenia’s first president from 1991-1998, publicly urged Kocharian and another ex-president, Serzh Sarkisian, to team up with him and try to unseat Pashinian in the upcoming polls. Ter-Petrosian said the incumbent prime minister’s reelection would be “much more dangerous for Armenia than even possible or hypothetical threats emanating from Azerbaijan and Turkey.”

Both Kocharian and Sarkisian were quick to turn down the proposal. Sarkisian reaffirmed his Republican Party’s decision to form an alliance with another opposition group led by Artur Vanetsian, a former head of Armenia’s National Security Service.

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