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Opposition Party Leaders Criticize Former Armenian President

Levon Ter-Petrossian
Levon Ter-Petrossian
YEREVAN -- Two opposition leaders today criticized opposition leader and former President Levon Ter-Petrossian, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Armen Martirosian, who chairs the governing board of Zharangutiun, one of the two opposition parties in parliament, said Ter-Petrossian shares with his successors Robert Kocharian and incumbent President Serzh Sarkisian responsibility for the political and economic problems Armenia currently faces.

Ter-Petrossian currently heads the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), an umbrella organization that unites some two dozen opposition parties and groups.

A second top Zharangutiun member, Stepan Safarian, pointed out that his party and Ter-Petrossian's HAK hold diverging views on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and the optimum approach to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Safarian also deplored the HAK's rejection of Zharangutiun's recent call for a round-table discussion at which all opposition parties would be represented.

Zharangutiun was founded in late 2002 by Raffi Hovannisian, a U.S.-born Armenian who served from 1991-1992 as Armenian foreign minister during Ter-Petrossian's first presidential term.

Zharangutiun backed Ter-Petrossian's unsuccessful presidential bid in February 2008. But the party declined to join the HAK when it was founded later that year.