Kocharian to Form Council of Political Leaders

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–If he is elected president of Armenia–Robert Kocharian will form a political council of heads of Armenian leading political parties. The council will discuss key aspects of domestic and foreign policy–Kocharian said on a television program on Saturday. He said that close cooperation between political forces is necessary to overcome the crisis.

The council will be required to include heads of the Armenian Communist Party–Kocharian said. In his opinion–they are honest and worthy people who wanted to desert the party but remained loyal to the idea. However–Kocharian stressed his serious ideological differences with the communists.

He said that the ideas of the National Democratic Union are closer to his–and the misunderstandings between him and NDU chairman Vazken Manoukian are based on Manoukian’s personal ambitions.

Kocharian refrained to name his potential Prime Minister.

The television program was initially scheduled to be a debate between Kocharian and Karen Demirchian. However–the former Soviet leader of Armenia refused to take part in the televised debate unless changes were introduced to state election law.

If elected president–Kocharian will revise the Armenian Constitution to redistribute the powers of the president–the cabinet and parliament. "I do not think the president should have the right to dissolve the National Assembly," he said.

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