Bagratyan for President?: Former PM hints at possible run for post

Bagratyan for President?: Former PM hints at possible run for top post

Vote 2013 | 20.12.12 | 15:09

Former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan has acknowledged that a
convention of his small opposition party due early next week will
discuss his possible nomination as a presidential candidate in the
February 18 ballot.

Bagratyan, whose Liberty party (2,700 members) is a member of the main
opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) alliance, shared this
message via Facebook today, announcing that the gathering of party
delegates is scheduled for December 24.

`Our delegates are asking me about the issue on the agenda (as many
will be coming from remote areas). I can say that, yes, there is an
issue of nominating me as a presidential candidate,’ said Bagratyan.

At the same time, the current lawmaker with the opposition bloc
stressed that he would not proceed with the bid if ANC leader Levon
Ter-Petrosyan decided to join the fray.

`I think that the presence of a candidate with liberal views is a must
for the upcoming election. At the same time, I inform you [the
delegates] that I will withdraw from the race if Ter-Petrosyan joins
it as a candidate. Please, consider that I am not being nominated by
the ANC. Moreover, for this period I suspend my active cooperation
with the ANC political council in order not to constrain any of its
members,’ said the 54-year-old politician, who headed the Armenian
government in 1993-96.

Bagratyan’s message gives more weight to the opinion that ex-president
Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who emerged from a decade-long political
obscurity five years ago to unsuccessfully contest the 2008
presidential election, will not run for the top political post this
time around, letting one of his close associates make a bid instead.

The convention of the former ruling Armenian National Movement, which
is a core party in the Ter-Petrosyan coalition, is slated for December
22. It is expected to bring more clarity in the upcoming decisions by
the opposition bloc.