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Armenia: Opposition Parties Agree On A Unified Candidate

Yerevan, 9 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian opposition parties agreed over the weekend to nominate a single candidate for the country's presidential elections on September 22, reports RFE/RL's Armenian Service.

Five opposition parties, excluding the communists, agreed to nominate Vasgen Manukian as their unified candidate. Manukian is a former prime minister and head of the National Democratic Union.

Manukian criticizes President Levon Ter-Petrosian for failing to reform the political system in Armenia. He also is a strong supporter of economic and political reforms and criticizes the government's privatization policy.

RFE/RL's correspondent says that today's move will result in several opposition leaders withdrawing from the presidential race in favor of Manukian. They include former dissident Paruir Harikian, leader of the Democratic Party Aram Sargissian, and independent candidate Academician Lenser Aghalovian.

The banned opposition Party Dashnakzutune also agreed to nominate Vasgen Manukian as a unified presidential candidate of Armenian opposition.