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Armenia: Is a Genuinely Competitive Presidential Vote Coming in 2013?

Tsarukian for president? (Photo: Anahit Hayrapetyan)

It’s prudent always to expect the unexpected from a man who keeps lions in his back yard.

Tycoon Gagik Tsarukian, the man with exotic pets, heads the Prosperous Armenia Party, which finished with just under one-third of the vote in Armenia’s May 6 parliamentary elections. A few days later, he confounded Armenia’s political establishment with an announcement that his party will not rejoin the governing coalition. Speculation is now mounting in Yerevan that Tsarukian may potentially challenge President Serzh Sargsyan in next year’s presidential election.

“Gagik Tsarukian now needs a rope-walker’s skills in order to balance between both [government and opposition] spheres,” commented pollster Aharon Adibekian, the director of Yerevan’s Sociometer Center.

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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter in Yerevan and the editor of MediaLab.am.

Armenia: Is a Genuinely Competitive Presidential Vote Coming in 2013?

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