YEREVAN, April 5. / ARKA /. Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan will spearhead an alliance of political parties to participate in the early parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for June 20. Kocharyan announced his intention in an interview with Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner on Channel One, according to TASS.
“For 10 years I led that country, but I am non-partisan. I will participate with a bloc of parties, most likely of two parties,” he said, but did not specify which parties would create a bloc to participate in early elections.
Kocharyan was the president of Armenia from 1998-2008.
Late last month Judge Anna Danibekyan, who presides over the trial of Robert Kocharyan, refused to terminate Kocharyan’s criminal prosecution under Article 300.1.
Earlier that month Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruled that Article 300.1 of the Criminal Code that was used to prosecute Kocharyan for “overthrowing the constitutional order” runs counter to articles 78 and 79 of the Constitution.
Earlier, Prosecutor Gevorg Baghdasaryan submitted a petition to the court with the request to postpone the hearing until April 6 in connection with the decision of the Constitutional Court.
Kocharyan’s case dates back to late February and early March 2008 following the disputed presidential election, when then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was declared the winner, angering the opposition, that was led by the first Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosyan who set off 10 days of nonstop protests that led to a crackdown on March 1, in which 10 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
Kocharyan, as well as chief of his staff Armen Gevorgyan, former chief of army’s staff General Yuri Khachaturov and former minister of defense Seyran Ohanyan have been charged with usurping state power during the March 1, 2008 post-election protests.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan may resign at the end of April, the head of the ruling My Step parliamentary bloc Lilit Makunts said at a press briefing today.
Pashinyan announced also he will resign next month but stay in office until parliamentary elections due on June 20, in an effort to curb the political crisis gripping Armenia.
Pashinyan has been facing opposition demands to resign since he signed a peace deal in November with Azerbaijani and Russian leaders to end the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh that claimed thousands of young lives, and saw Azerbaijan reclaim control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter of a century.