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Ter-Petrosian Defends Election Offers To Other Ex-Presidents


Armenia - Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian (L) and Nikol Pashinian greet supporters in Yerevan's Liberty Square, 31 May 2011.

Levon Ter-Petrosian defended on Friday his public calls for Armenia’s two other former presidents to form an electoral alliance with him and jointly try to oust Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s “criminal and nation-destroying regime.”

Ter-Petrosian revealed on Wednesday that he floated the idea at a March 25 meeting with Serzh Sarkisian and Robert Kocharian. He said Kocharian rejected it out of hand while Sarkisian “did not express any opinion.” He said he is “publicly repeating my proposal” because he believes Pashinian’s reelection would spell further trouble for Armenia.

Both ex-presidents swiftly turned down the proposal, saying that they are planning to enter other alliances ahead of the snap parliamentary elections expected in June.

“Whatever they say, an alliance of the three former presidents of the republic would still be the only way to ward off the danger of a reproduction of Pashinian’s criminal and nation-destroying regime and avoid new disasters,” Ter-Petrosian said in his latest article posted on Ilur.am.

Ter-Petrosian also revealed on May 1 he held a separate meeting with Sarkisian and proposed that their political parties set up an alliance without Kocharian’s participation. He claimed that he put forward a draft joint declaration saying, among other things, that Kocharian is driven “not so much by the country’s interests as revanchist motives.”

“My second proposal did not succeed either because it was rejected by Sarkisian,” wrote the 76-year-old ex-president who had served as Armenia’s first president from 1991-1998.

He said he has disclosed details of his contacts with Sarkisian and Kocharian in hopes of generating “public pressure” on them.

Armenia -- Former President Serzh Sarkisian holds a news conference in Yerevan, August 19, 2020.
Armenia -- Former President Serzh Sarkisian holds a news conference in Yerevan, August 19, 2020.

Sarkisian’s office confirmed the rebuff in a statement issued later on Friday. It said he told Ter-Petrosian that “the bilateral alliance cannot be effective.”

The office insisted at the same time that at their May 1 meeting Ter-Petrosian did not show Sarkisian the draft declaration publicized by him.

Ter-Petrosian’s readiness to team up with the two other ex-presidents is remarkable given the long history of mutual antagonism between them. For many years he was highly critical of his successors’ policies and track records.

The three men met in October for the first time in decades to discuss ways of stopping the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Ter-Petrosian and Kocharian offered to jointly travel to Moscow for urgent talks with Russian leaders.

Pashinian reportedly refused to authorize them to negotiate on behalf of his administration. He later questioned the sincerity and seriousness of the ex-presidents’ initiative, prompting angry reactions from them.

Like other opposition figures, all three ex-presidents blame Pashinian for Armenia’s defeat in the six-week war. Ter-Petrosian said in March that Pashinian must step down and “at least temporarily” leave the country to end its post-war political crisis. The prime minister reacted scathingly to that statement.

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