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Armenia’s Next Parliament to Include HAK, HHK, BHK, But Not ARF-D or Heritage Party: Strategist

The Armenian National Congress (HAK), the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) might have nearly an equal number of seats in the parliament to be elected in May 2012, if HAK and BHK intelligently cooperate and not allow HHK to “paint” the numbers (i.e. fix the votes), said electoral and political strategist Armen Badalyan, speaking to journalists in the capital today.

According to Badalyan, these three are the most influential forces in politics, while the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun, or ARF-D) and the Heritage Party are among the second, less influential category of political parties.

“I very much doubt that ARF-D will find a place in the next parliament. ARF-D has a tendency to regress — there’s no reason for this to change. Supporters of an Armenia ‘from sea to sea’ haven’t increased; ARF-D leaders haven’t changed.

“The Heritage Party also doesn’t have potential. It’s a leader-based party, and [its leader] Raffi Hovannisian makes an appearance in the [political] arena once in a million,” he said.

The remaining parties — according to Badalyan, “dead” OEK (Orinats Yerkir or Rule of Law) and “virtual” parties such as the Free Democrats, the communists and so on — have no chance of getting into the National Assembly.

“There will be painting [fudging the numbers], but to what extent is the question. If it doesn’t cooperate reasonably, HAK won’t lose anything — it will continue to remain opposition, while for BHK this period is decisive. BHK won’t be forgiven for not becoming HHK’s attaché,” he said.

Weighing in on the possible BHK-HAK collaboration, political analyst Karen Kocharyan, also speaking at today’s press conference, said this will never happen as BHK won’t become an opposition force. According to him, BHK from the start has never been a political force and the only political face of that party is MP Naira Zohrabyan.

“There will be few [incidents of] traditional electoral fraud. Votes will be bought. This was proven also by the Hrazdan elections,” he said.