Two Candidates Confirm Presidential Bid

Raffi Hovannisian fields questions after his annoucement

YEREVAN—Two presidential hopefuls made their candidacies official, with Heritage Party founder and president Raffi Hovannisian announcing his bid on Saturday and Liberty Party leader and former Armenian National Congress member Hrant Bagratyan making an announcement on Monday.

Hovannisian formally announced his candidacy during a Citizens’ Assembly convened at the Armenia Marriott Hotel on Saturday.

The town hall meeting opened with the Armenian national anthem, «Mer Hayrenik», and was followed by short addresses of civil society and Heritage Party representatives. The Chairman of the Heritage Party then addressed the public, introducing his vision of the future Armenia and the policy priorities that he, as an ordinary Armenian citizen nominated to become President, is prepared to fulfill together with all the citizens of Armenia.

“All of us must become more citizen than civil, more nation than nationalistic, more liberty than liberal, more spirit than spiritual, and more Republic than republican. Because Armenia is free, independent, and united through us, our will power, and our common path. Armenia: the one and only. On February 18, 2013, our people finally must take action–one time and together,” he said.

“In full respect of Heritage founder Raffi K. Hovannisian’s decision to offer his candidacy, as a rank-and-file citizen, for the presidency of the Republic of Armenia, the Heritage Pary Board hereby determines to support the candidacy of its chairman Raffi Hovannisian in the presidential elections on February 18, 2013,” said an announcement made by the Heritage Party Friday, which was read at the gathering.

Hrant Bagratyan announces his candidacy

Bagratyan, a former prime minister, made his announcement after his party held a convention.

Bagratyan said his nomination aimed to accelerate processes, which is the requirement of the society. Bagratyan added has no ambitions and does not want power.

Speaking about his relations with the leader of the Armenian National Congress, the ex-Prime Minister said: “I have brilliant relations with Levon Ter-Petrosyan and I don’t think our ways will cross. At least, I have no such intention,” he said.

Only former and current members of the Armenian National Congress were present at the meeting. Attending the convention were leader of the Republic Party Aram Sargsyan, leader of the Democratic Motherland Party Petros Makeyan, chairwoman of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Lyudmila Sargsyan, leader of the Free Democrats Khachatur Kokobelyan.

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