TER-PETROSIAN TO HOLD LANDMARK NEWS CONFERENCE
By Emil Danielyan

Radio Liberty, Czech Republic
Jan 8 2008

Levon Ter-Petrosian will hold this week a news conference for the
first time in over a decade to discuss his participation in Armenia's
forthcoming presidential election, the former president's campaign
headquarters announced on Tuesday.

A written statement by it said the landmark event will take place on
Friday and focus on Ter-Petrosian's election manifesto which was made
public on Monday.

Ter-Petrosian, never known for his openness to the media, had last
held a press conference in September 1997 as part of his efforts to
drum up public support for an internationally sponsored plan to end
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The public relations campaign proved
fruitless as he was forced to resign by key members of his cabinet,
notably then Prime Minister Robert Kocharian, less than five months
later.

Barring sporadic and brief conversations with journalists,
Ter-Petrosian has avoided contacts with the media since then. He also
kept an extremely low profile, rarely making public appearances.

The ex-president, who will turn 63 on Wednesday, delivered his first
public speech since losing power on September 21. The speech came as
a prelude to the announcement of his decision to contest the election
scheduled for February 19.

Ter-Petrosian refused to answer questions from journalists even as he
held big rallies in Yerevan and addressed indoors gatherings of his
loyalists. He likewise refused to be interviewed on the record during
an October 16 visit to the Yerevan bureau of RFE/RL's Armenian service.