by Tatevik Shahunyan
The Armenian authorities did not interfere in the process of mayoral elections in Goris, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan told journalists when commenting on the media reports that he personally invited ex-candidate for mayor of Goris, Head of Gamma CJSC Tigran Karapetyan to Yerevan and required him to give up the idea of running for mayor. "It makes no difference to me who the population of Goris will elect as their mayor", said Abrahamyan.
In the meantime, according to ArmInfo's reliable information, long before the registration of the candidates for mayor of Goris, the top branches of power exerted pressure on the potential candidates and required them to leave the race in favor of candidate Vachagan Adunts (head of Water Supply of Goris - editor's note), who was supported by ex-governor of Syunik Souren Khachatryan (a.k.a. Liska). The Syunik office of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) is managed by Khachatryan. According to ArmInfo's sources among the authorities, the top management of the country fully supported Khachatryan's stand.
ArmInfo's sources say that the Syunik office of the RPA experienced discrepancies on whether to support Adunts or not. Some of the RPA members in Syunik supported Karapetyan's candidacy. However, the RPA high-ranking circles of Yerevan, as well as the leadership of the country exerted pressure on Karapetyan to prevent him from running for mayor of Goris. Moreover, the same sources say that Karapetyan was invited to Yerevan to meet with high-ranking officials, and on May 20, all of a sudden, Karapetyan made a decision on withdrawal of his candidacy though he had repeatedly told media that he was not going to give up the race. Karapetyan failed to explain his decision. He only said that it was the best way out of the situation. He promised to give a detailed explanation later.
To note, RPA member Ara Budaghyan, brother of Avetik Budaghyan killed near Liska's house, also refused to run for mayor of Goris though he had such an intention.
For the moment, the candidates for mayor of Goris are Vachagan Adunts and non- partisan businessman Hrayr Yolyan.