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“There is a large segment of the electorate that finds it hard to vote for Levon Ter-Petrosian,” Hovsep Khurshudian, the “Heritage” spokesman told journalists today, defending his party’s refusal to back former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s candidacy for the post of Yerevan mayor.
“Heritage” (Zharangutyun), which is led by former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian, decided late Monday not to form an alliance with Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) for the May 31 municipal elections.
The two opposition forces failed to agree on who should lead their would-be list of candidates to a municipal assembly that will choose the Armenian capital’s next mayor. The HAK nominated Ter-Petrosian’s candidacy, while Zharangutyun insisted that the list should be topped by Armen Maritorsian, its young parliamentary leader.
Pro-Ter-Petrosian media today sharply criticized “Heritage” for its decision to head into elections with a separate list. The pro-government media, on the other hand, rejoiced. I found the position in both camps quite surprising. In fact, had it not been for the pro-Ter-Petrosian media, I would have thought, that “Heritage” decision to contest the elctions on a separate list is a tactical move to ensure opposition victory.
The way I see it this – there are people who will vote for Ter-Petrossian – because they are crazy about him, or are hypnotised, or whatever other reasons of their own. Let’s say this makes 25% of the vote.
There are people who will vote for Gagik Beglaryan – because they have stuff to loose: government jobs, illegal property in Yerevan, business which goes on only because the Beglaryan’s Republican party (or its various flavours, like Bargavach, Dashnaktsutyun, Orinats) sponsors it. Let’s say this makes another 25%.
There are people who are so disillusioned, that they won’t go to the polls. Let’s say this represents about 45%.
There are people who can’t stand either Ter-Petrosian or Beglaryan (like myself). Tell us – what choice do we have, given the experience of the past elections, when Dashnaks, Bargavach and Orinats showed their true face? None – if Ter-Petrosian leads the only opposition list. “Heritage” if opposition goes in separate lists. Let’s say this represents 5%.
Such an imaginary layout, which is actually rather close to hypothetic reality IMHO, will give the opposition: Ter-Petrosian and “Heritage” a total of 30% – which means majority in the municipal council and the opportunity to select their mayor, whoever that might be. Doesn’t this make sence at all? Even if the numbers I’ve presented above are just invented out of thin air?