With the second anniversary of Armenia's deadly March 1, 2008 presidential election clashes approaching, former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, who has not come to terms with his defeat at the polls two years ago, is reportedly preparing for demonstrations and early elections.
Although no early election date has been announced, the ex-president's Armenian National Congress (ANC) is busy compiling voter lists and mobilizing its regional activists, the Arminfo news service reported on February 23, citing Ter-Petrosian's spokesperson Levon Zurabian.
Zurabian claimed that President Serzh Sargsyan's controversial drive to reconcile the country with Turkey has opened deep divisions within Armenia's ruling establishment, adding that the tension could cause a collapse of the governing coalition. In response, he called on all opposition groups to start preparing for early presidential and parliamentary elections. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
The government has not responded to Zurabian's claim. Presidential elections are not due until 2013.
Zurabian said that the ANC will hold a demonstration on March 1 to mark the clash anniversary. Violence erupted in Yerevan after Ter-Petrosian claimed that his election victory had been stolen from him. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].