DASHNAKS MULL CAMPAIGN PLATFORM
By Ruzanna Stepanian

Radio Liberty, Czech Republic
Jan 8 2008

The campaign team of deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovannisian
discussed and approved on Tuesday the election manifesto of the
presidential candidate of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(Dashnaktsutyun).

The Hovannisian campaign declined to immediately release the
document. A Dashnaktsutyun spokesman, Spartak Seyranian, told RFE/RL
that it needs to be endorsed by the party's governing Supreme Body
before being made public. The body was scheduled to meet later in
the day.

Seyranian said Hovannisian himself will unveil the manifesto "in a
few days time." He said it will contain about 10 pages and be "quite
accessible" to voters.

Hovannisian disclosed the main points of his platform as he effectively
kicked off his campaign on December 25. In what came as a novelty in
Armenian politics, he offered to sign "contracts" with individual
voters committing him to pursuing policies that would, lead among
other things, to free elections and social justice.

According to Seyranian, about 70,000 Armenians have already signed
such contracts carrying Hovannisian's printed signature and titled
"I am with Vahan." He said Dashnaktsutyun expects tens of thousands
of others to do so before election day. "It is logical for 99 percent
of them to vote for Vahan Hovannisian," added Seyranian.