All Armenia’s Former Presidents Set to Run in Unprecedented Election

Levon Ter-Petrossian

By Emilio Luciano Cricchio 

In an unprecedented move, Armenia’s first, second, and third presidents, Levon Ter-Petrossian, Robert Kocharyan, and Serzh Sargsyan, respectively, have announced their participation in the June 20 snap parliamentary elections.

On Sunday, first President Ter-Petrossian said he would lead the election list of the Armenian National Congress Party. Second President Kocharyan announced earlier that he would lead the Armenia Alliance, represented by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the newly created Armenian Renaissance party. Kocharyan himself is not a member of any political party. 

Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan’s Republican Party has formed an alliance with the Homeland Party, led by former head of National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan. Sargsyan and his party were ousted as a result of the 2018 revolution. 

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will lead his Civil Contract Party without any alliances. Currently, his parliamentary My Step Alliance consists of the Civil Contract Party in coalition with the smaller Mission Party.

During a party convention on Sunday, Ter-Petrossian reflected on his earlier proposal to form an alliance with former presidents Kocharyan and Sargsyan against the incumbent prime minister. But both Kocharyan and Sarsgsyan had rejected the proposal, choosing to participate with their own alliances. Ter-Petrossian clarified that his alliance proposal with former arch-rivals was meant to prevent both Pashinyan’s and Kocharyan’s re-election and establish a government led by professional technocrats. 

“Kocharyan’s rejection of my proposal means that he is guided not by the interests of the state, but exclusively by the obsession to take revenge on Nikol Pashinyan. He has no other motivation,” Ter-Petrossian said. 

He decried his successors, claiming they did not comprise enough in Nagorno Karabakh since his resignation in 1998. He also slammed Pashinyan for his short-sighted policies in the Karabakh negotiations and his provocative statement that “Karabakh is Armenia.” 

Ter-Petrossian did say however that Sargsyan’s motives were different. 

“Serzh Sargsyan’s case is different, he does not pursue the goal of returning to power, participating in the elections, he is simply fulfilling his duty to his own party, to see even a small group of Republicans represented in the National Assembly.” Ter-Petrossian said.