Demirchian Meets With Kocharian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–One of the key contenders of forthcoming parliamentary elections–Armenia’s longtime Soviet-era leader Karen Demirchian–confirmed on Thursday media reports that he met recently with President Robert Kocharian.

"The meeting took place within the framework of the president’s ongoing consultations with political parties," Demirchian told RFE/RL in a rare exclusive interview. However–he refused to disclose the agenda or any other details of the officially non-publicized meeting.

Kocharian has been holding talks with major parties lately–which officials say focus on ways to ensure the proper conduct of the elections due on May 30.

Some leaders of Demirchian’s center-left People’s Party of Armenia have said they will win the ballot provided it is free and fair. The former Communist Party first secretary still claims that vote irregularities prevented him from winning last year’s presidential election. Official figures gave victory to Kocharian.

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