ARF Indicates Deepening Rift With Republican Party


Jul 27, 2007

YEREVAN, JULY 27, ARMENPRESS: Armen Rustamian, a senior member of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) party and head of a parliament
committee on foreign issues, said today his party will nominate its
own candidate for the next year’s presidential election, ‘who will be
from the ARF.’ He said the ARF will convene a congress in autumn to
decide the candidate. ‘Our party will not defend a candidate nominated
by other political groups and will not nominate a candidate that was
already nominated by another party,’ he told journalists today.

He said the ARF is very likely to strike cooperation with
the Zharangutyun (Heritage) opposition party, because of
‘evident. ideological commonalities.’ Rustamian admitted also a
widening rift between his party and the governing Republican party
saying their approaches towards a set of questions are becoming
apparently different.

At the end of the news conference Rustamian blamed all election vices
on the majoritarian (single-mandate ) election system saying it must
be eliminated to ensure clean and fair vote by party lists only.

Meantime Raffi Hovhanesian, head of the Zharangutyun party, said
to another news conference that his party may nominate him as a
presidential candidate for 2008 ballot, but added that ‘it is not
and end in itself for us and we are ready to give our support to any
other worthy candidate."

Hovhanesian also said the victory of the Justice and Development
party in Turkish parliamentary elections will become a new impetus
for Turkish-Armenian relationships.