Hovhannisian Stresses Uniqueness of upcoming National Assembly Election

YEREVAN–Talking about Armenia’s May 12 National Assembly election, Deputy Chairman Vahan Hovhannisian said its outcome will be unique from prior polls because of the passage of Constitutional reforms. The changes, he said, have allowed the National Assembly, as well as political forces to play a more active role in affecting political and social change. Hovhannisian, who is also a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Bureau, was speaking at the National Media Club on March 7, at a press conference about the upcoming vote. He said that it will serve as an indicator as to what can be expected from the presidential ballot in early 2008. He explained that he ARF will most likely garner more than the 10 percent of seats projected for the party and that the predications are provided solely to shape public opinion. Hovhannisian did warn against premature distrust in the May 12 ballot that will be watched by international monitors for its free, fair, and democratic standards. "Those who take a negative stance create the field for voter fraud." He was swift to strike down the belief that the elections will be a battle mainly between a new party, Bargavach Hayastan (Prosperous Armenia), and the Republican Party of Armenia, saying that this comes from those who believe that there is an even political playing field, but have no concept whatsoever about ideological convictions and struggles.

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