Trouble in the Heritage Party as Members Quit
YEREVAN (A.W.)—The Kapan regional chapter of Raffi Hovhannisian’s Heritage Party (Zharangutyun) has demanded that its candidates be excluded from running for parliament, RFE/RL’s Armenian service reported on Feb. 21. This change in the dynamics of the party comes in light of the leadership’s decision to form an alliance with the two former government ministers.
On Feb. 13, former Armenian Foreign Ministers Vartan Oskanian and Raffi Hovhannisian, along with former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, announced the formation of their new opposition alliance.
Well-known Heritage Party board member and parliament deputy Zaruhi Postanjyan, who strongly opposed the move, quit the party on Feb. 20 in a statement released on her official Facebook account. “I am informing you that I am terminating my membership to the Heritage Party. At the same time, I appreciate the work of over 10 years and the path which we have passed together,” read a part of the statement, in which she said she was “incompatible” with the party after the decision to join the alliance.
On Feb. 21, the Heritage Party was informed that leaders and members of the party chapter in the southeastern town of Kapan are also opposed to the alliance. According to Kapan Party leader Anna Hakobyan, the chapter sent a letter to the Central Election Commission (CEC) demanding the party’s candidate for the bloc be disqualified from the April 2 elections.
Hakobyan added that the party’s board has not held a congress in three years and therefore any recent decisions made become “illegitimate.”
“If a congress had been held, perhaps we would have had a more full-fledged board,” Hakobyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
Heritage Party Chairman Artur Martirosyan refuted Hakobyan’s statements and said that the decision to join the alliance was not only the decision of the governing board but its larger council. Speaking during a press conference on Feb. 21, Martirosyan also commented on Postanjyan’s departure, saying, “our paths may cross again… No one could have imagined that Seyran Ohanyan, Raffi Hovannisian, and Vartan Oskanian would ever form an alliance. But political struggle brings to formation of the most unexpected alliances.”
Most of the party members who oppose the alliance say that their disagreement is due to the two former ministers’ involvement in former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan’s raid against opposition protestors following the 2008 Presidential elections.
Source: Armenian Weekly
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