VOTE 2013 | 26.02.13 | 14:22

Orinats Yerkir, a junior member of President Serzh Sargsyan's governing
coalition, has called for a broad dialogue to settle what has turned
into another post-election crisis in Armenia.

The party allied to the main ruling Republican Party of Armenia had
endorsed President Sargsyan as a candidate in the February 18 election
in which the incumbent officially won reelection. His official victory,
however, is being disputed by the main opposition challenger, Raffi
Hovannisian, who has launched a nationwide campaign for the annulment
of the election results.

Orinats Yerkir, whose leader Artur Baghdasaryan was controversially
instrumental in shifting the balance of the conflicting parties in a
similar, but much more bitter post-election standoff five years ago,
discussed a broad range of issues concerning last week's presidential
ballot at the meeting of its political council last night.

Orinats Yerkir's press service today summarized the discussion in
a statement, saying that the party hails the victory of President
Sargsyan and again congratulates him on the success.

At the same time, the junior coalition partner of Sargsyan's main
governing party stressed the importance of a full-scale inquiry
into reported electoral irregularities and violations and called for
restraint from all political forces, figures and ordinary citizens
in the post-election developments.

The party also suggested "initiating a format of broad public
dialogue, involving representatives of all political forces, public
organizations, civil initiatives interested in it in order to jointly
discuss issues and find solutions to them through dialogue."

Orinats Yerkir also called on representatives of National Assembly
factions to form a working group "to examine the post-election
situation in the country, offer solutions for overcoming it, and,
if necessary, also initiate legislative reforms."

Last Friday, opposition leader Hovannisian said President Sargsyan had
rejected all of his offers of compromise, including the possibility of
holding a repeat presidential election or snap parliamentary elections
based solely on party-list representation.

Since then Hovannisian indicated he was keen on continuing his campaign
on an indefinite basis to make Sargsyan accept "the people's victory".

From: Baghdasarian