Hovannesian Prepares to Release Election Platform

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)-Presidential Candidate Vahan Hovannesian’s campaign team discussed and approved Tuesday his campaign platform. The document is slated for immediate release upon endorsement by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s governing Supreme Body, ARF spokesman Spartak Seyranian told RFE/RL. The body was scheduled to meet later in the day.
Seyranian said Hovannesian himself will unveil the manifesto “in a few days time.” He said it will contain about 10 pages and be “quite accessible” to voters.
Hovannisian, who is Vice Speaker of the National Assembly and an ARF Bureau member, was nominated by a special convention of the ARF Armenia, following a five day non-binding early primary, which gave voters an unprecedented opportunity to chose between Hovannesiaon or ARF Supreme Body Representative Armen Rustamian. Hovannesian shortly after disclosed the main points of his platform as he effectively kicked off his campaign on December 25. In what came as a novelty in Armenian politics, he offered to sign social contracts with individual voters committing him to pursuing policies that would, lead among other things, to free elections and social justice.
According to Seyranian, about 70,000 Armenia’s have already signed such contracts carrying Hovannesian’s printed signature and titled “I am with Vahan.” He said the ARF expects tens of thousands of others to do so before election day. “It is logical for 99 percent of them to vote for Vahan Hovannesian,” added Seyranian.
The Election platform will be molded around issues and questions raised by the public, Hovannesian said during an interview with Yerkir Media. Hovannesian’s campaign has been actively engaging with the populace in recent weeks, fielding an eclectic array of questions and using the answers as a method of gauging public opinion regarding specific issues, Hovannesian added.
“The questions are aimed at finding out if people are interesting in solving a certain issue, if they see a problem in a certain field, or if they are unsatisfied by how the problems are currently being addressed,” Hovannesian remarked. “These will become components in our election platform.”
After it is adopted, the election platform will be presented to the public for open discussion within wider as well as specialized audiences, said Hovannesian. The ARF similarly presented the party’s election platform for discussion to a broad array of voters during Armenia’s parliamentary elections in 2007.
“We held several meetings with scientists, young people, businessmen, etc, before the elections and we will hold meetings with the public again,” remarked Hovannesian. “We will hold these discussions, because they will help us solve the country’s social issues.”

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