Addressing a general conference of the ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement, President Levon Ter-Petrosian proposed hard-liner Vano Siradegian for the post of party leader and came down hard on reformer Eduard Yegorian, who also seeks that post. Ter-Petrosian accused Yegorian of showing "disrespect toward the viewpoints of others" and of having "made too many mistakes which, if repeated, can be very dangerous." "If Yegorian becomes APNM chairman, APNM will cease being APNM," Ter-Petrosian concluded. Siradegian now appears likely to become the party’s leader at its upcoming congress. (Noyan-Tapan, June 30)
Yegorian, chairman of the parliament’s legal affairs committee, heads the APNM’s reformist faction. It calls for greater government accountability, criticizes abuses of the law-enforcement agencies, and supports elections based on a new electoral law that would curb interference by the authorities. Siradegian, currently mayor of Yerevan, is considered a leading figure in the economic clan around the president. He is, moreover, credited with a major role in the manipulation of last year’s presidential election and — as minister of internal affairs at the time — of the ensuing repression. Siradegian’s election as party leader would reduce the chances of a dialogue between government and opposition.
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