Artur Baghdasarian,
Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law) Party leader,
Parliamentarian

A lawyer by training, 39-year-old Artur Baghdasarian first entered politics in 1992 when he joined the nationalist Armenian National Movement, then Armenia's ruling party. In the early 1990s, he was deputy head of Yerevan's Shengavit district, a constituency which he has represented in parliament since 1995.

In 1998 Baghdasarian founded the Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law) Party. The party, with a pro-Western stance, has had parliamentary factions since 1999, and became part of the ruling coalition following the 2003 parliamentary elections. Baghdasarian acted as parliamentary speaker. Although the partnership later crumbled, Country of Law has retained its parliamentary seats. In the latest elections, held in 2007, Orinats Yerkir , with 6.86 percent of the vote, gained eight seats in Armenia's 131-member parliament.

Although Baghdasarian has stopped short of Levon Ter-Petrosian's characteristics of the Kocharian administration as a "robber's regime," he similarly blasts the authorities for alleged corruption and for an unfair distribution of public wealth.. Not seen as a candidate likely to capitalize on street demonstrations, he promotes "friendly talks" with voters in his TV campaign ads.

In early February, Baghdasarian was reported to be in talks with Ter-Petrosian about a potential alliance - though which candidate would be the one to drop out of the race remained a matter for speculation. Reports of the talks coincided with an announcement by Baghdasarian at a Yerevan rally that he had received a death threat, for which he held the government responsible. An investigation is ongoing; the candidate has accepted a state-supplied bodyguard in the meantime.

Slogan: Armenia, open your eyes!

Yerevan Office: 43 Abovian St.

Phone: 374-10-56-65-05

Website: http://www.arturpresident.am



Armenian Opposition Leader Hit By "Treason" Scandal: May 2007
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav050207.shtml

Armenia: Coalition Breaks Up, But Government Remains Stable: May 2006
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav052206.shtml


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