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Jailed Armenian Journalist To Run For Parliament

Nikol Pashinian
Nikol Pashinian
YEREVAN -- Jailed Armenian opposition newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian says he will run as a candidate for parliament, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Pashinian, 34, is currently on trial for his alleged role in antigovernment protests following the March 2008 presidential election.

Pashinian plans to contest a parliament seat in a by-election in a constituency recently vacated by Khachatur Sukiasian, a businessman and supporter of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian.

Sukiasian, who went into hiding in the aftermath of the postelection unrest, surrendered to authorities in September and resigned his parliament seat.

Ter-Petrosian's Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance on October 30 voiced support for Pashinian's bid and pledged to work to secure his election.

HAK had earlier refused to support another opposition figure, Suren Sureniants, who also intended to run for parliament in the same constituency.

He later reversed his decision and told RFE/RL that he is ready to support Pashinian's bid. Central Election Commission spokesman Tatev Ohanian told RFE/RL that five people have applied to run in the race, which is scheduled for January 10.