Armenia’s Central Election Commission has set September 22 as the date of the country’s presidential election. The main declared candidates are: incumbent President Levon Ter-Petrosian of the governing Armenian Pan-National Movement; former prime minister and defense minister (now National-Democratic Union leader) Vazgen Manukian; National Self-Determination Alliance leader and founding father of the national movement, Paruir Airikyan; former internal affairs minister and chief presidential adviser for national security, Ashot Manusharian, supported by the Scientific-Industrial and Civic Union (SICU); Democratic Party leader Aram Sarksian; and Communist party leader Sergey Badalian. Most opposition candidates are considering ways of joining forces among themselves and with the main opposition force, the Dashnaksutyun, which is severely restricted by the authorities. (Noyan-Tapan, June 24 and 25; Interfax, June 26)
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