ARF Begins Series of Talks With Political Parties

GOAL IS TO ENSURE LEGITIMATE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

In order to secure fair and open campaigns in upcoming elections–the ARF Supreme Body has started a series of talks with Armenian political parties. The first of these scheduled meetings was held with the National Democratic Union (NDU).

ARF Bureau member–Vahan Hovhannisian–ARF Armenia Supreme Body (SB) chairman–Armen Rustamian–and ARF faction leader in the National Assembly–Aghvan Vartanian met with the NDU leader–Vazgen Manukian to discuss necessary measures to ensure civilized and fair election campaigns. The two sides underscored the importance of running campaigns based on ideology and platform–and agreed it is crucial to form a political and representative-based parliament.

"ARF recommended that its scheme of local coalitions–publicized back in 1999–be utilized. The design suggests that partial coalitions be formed in certain constituencies for certain candidates," Armen Rustamian said after the talks. He also added that every political party–as well as the authorities–have much to do in securing legitimate and fair elections–and that it is crucial to work out common rules in an atmosphere of tolerance.

The NDU was positive on these key issues and did not rule out the possibility of cooperation. Vazgen Manukian backed the idea of restoring the disrupted principle of collaborative governance in the country–the first step being the formation of an effective security council and political legislative body.

"This was a normal meeting–something parties have on regular basis. These types of meetings balance the political life of this country," said Manukian.

Following the series of talks with political parties–a joint document bolstering civilized elections will be prepared.

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