Jan 31, 2008

YEREVAN, JANUARY 31, ARMENPRESS: A parliament member from the
opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party said it will hardly urge
its supporters to support a concrete presidential candidate in the
February 19 poll.

Larissa Alaverdian, Armenia's first ombudswoman, said her party's
governing board was still examining the election manifestoes of all
nine candidates and may later say which of them is closer to its own
approaches and stance.

Before this is said the party, according to Mrs. Alaverdian, will side
with all those candidates who will need its support, more likely the
opposition candidates, " because they reflect the weak wing of the
political field."

She then referred to the lack of political culture in this country,
complaining that this election campaign is also far from being

Zharangutyun is one of only two opposition parties represented in
Armenia's parliament. Its leader, U.S.-born Raffi Hovhanesian, was
denied registration as a presidential candidate because he does not
meet a residential qualification.

Larissa Alaverdian denied rumors that Raffi Hovhanesian was offered
Yerevan mayor post complaining also that her party is not perceived
by public at large as a new apportion force.

Earlier this month Raffi Hovhanesian indicated that he and his
Zharangutyun party will not endorse any of prime minister Serzh
Sarkisian's four main election challengers before the first round of
voting slated for February 19.