2008-01-08 20:14:00

ArmInfo. 'Panic of the Armenian authorities caused by the first speech
of ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan last September is overcome from
one rally to another', Chairman of the National Democratic Union
Vazgen Manukyan says in an interview to ArmInfo.

When Levon Ter-Petrosyan announced his candidature, it aroused some
panic among the power representatives since the ex-president is
considered to be a pragmatic person and announcing his candidature
he relies on something, V. Manukyan says.

'The panic has gradually subsided from one rally to another. Now we
can see close ranks of power representatives. But the confidence in
the victory of Serzh Sargsyan is not the same as before. Such was the
second stage of domestic political developments in the country after
the parliamentary elections up to now. As regards the first stage,
after the parliamentary elections many of opposition parties were
so shocked that very few of them are able to participate in the new
campaign', Manukyan says. Alongside with him, Manukyan mentions Orinats
Yerkir Party Leader Artur Baghdasaryan and Heritage Party Leader Raffi
Hovannisian, whose parties could force their way to the parliament.

'And me, since I made a right decision not to participate in the
parliamentary elections. NDU has never sought to be represented
in the parliament. As regards the last elections, we tought it
necessary creating a big coalition of opposition forces before the
new campaign. In that case it would be possible to try to enter
the parliament, get many mandates and then run for president. Since
the negotiations had no positive result and we failed to create a
coalition, we refused to participate in the parliamentary elections',
NDU leader explains. Asked if they had similar stands with the Armenian
Pan National Movement that did not participate in the parliamentary
elections either, V. Manukyan says: 'Participation was of great
importance for APNM. If they could clear the 5% threshold to the
parliament, it would be a success because the given political force
was outside the parliament and big politics too long. Since they
would fail, they withdrew their party ticket', the politician says.

As regards the current third stage of domestic political developments
in Armenia, there are 9 candidates for president and a state machinery
that manages elections so as it remains in power. Regarding the
possible consolidation of the opposition at the final round of
presidential campaign, V.Manukyan says: 'Time will prove everything'.