Discord Within NDU Leads to New Splinter Party

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–The 12th congress of the opposition National Democratic Union party (NDU)–led by Armenia’s first prime minister Vazgen Manukian–ended on Sunday by hot debates over the election of new members of its governing board.

Some delegates–led by Semyon Baghdasarian–Seyran Avakian and Filaret Berikian–insisted on expressing a vote of non-confidence in the Board.

The party is actually divided into two camps of those supporting a tough anti-government stand and those favoring cooperation with the authorities.

The former board–dominated by allies of David Vardanian–recently appointed state property management minister–submitted its resignation–after strong pressure from the center-right party’s radical wing.

Out of 60 candidates nominated to the Board 9 were elected. Shavarsh Kocharian–Vardan Poghosian and Vahe Varsanian–representing the NDU’s radical wing were not elected. Arshak Sadoyan of the radical faction was elected–however–resigned in protest. One of the most prominent members of the NDU Board Arshak Sadoyan had withdrawn his candidacy from the list of candidates. Vazgen Manukian was re-elected the party’s chairman.

The radical wing of NDU announced plans on creating a new national democratic party–since the NDU has strayed from its democratic ideology. Shavarsh Kocharian stated that until the party’s formation–the radical wing will remain part of the NDU and its parliamentary group

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