Three Pro Kocharian Parties Set to Form Electoral Alliance

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Three small political parties supporting President Robert Kocharian are likely to stand with a joint list of candidates in forthcoming parliamentary elections–one of their leaders said on Monday. Hrant Khachatrian–leader of the Constitutional Rights Union–told RFE/RL that his nationalist party has reached a "tentative agreement" to that effect with two leftist groups–the Scientific-Industrial and Civic Union and Miabanutyun (Accord) organization.

The CRU–SICU are members of the Justice and Unity grouping that backed Kocharian’s bid in last year’s presidential elections. Miabanutyun is led by Artashes Geghamian–Yerevan’s former mayor during the late Soviet era. Neither of them is believed to be able to overcome the five percent vote barrier to win parliament seats under the proportional system. 56 out of 131 seats in the next National Assembly have been set aside for party lists. Armenia’s main parties that will contest the May 30 polls have said they will not form any electoral blocs. But political analysts say inter-party cooperation is likely in the 75 single-mandate constituencies.

Khachatrian said the CRU–which remains largely supportive of Kocharian despite growing unhappiness with his policies–will put forward candidates only in two constituencies. He said the alliance will also seek to have two other pro-Kocharian parties on board–the Democratic and Ramkavar Azatakan parties–whose leaders hold senior posts in government.

The pro-government camp will be primarily represented by two–by far bigger–organizations: the Republican Party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

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