YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Hayots Ashkhar daily newspaper–quoting reliable sources–reported that a secret meeting attended by representatives of the country’s former ruling political elite was held at the residence of the chairman of the Board of the Armenian National Movement–Vano Siradeghian–recently.
According to the article–Babken Ararktsian–Ara Sahakian–Reverend Husik Lazarian–Vahan Papazian–Alexander Arzoumanian–as well as editors-in-chief of the Hayk and Aravot newspapers Tigran Hakobian and Aram Abrahamian–were among those present at the gathering.
According to the daily–the participants in the meeting discussed ways of intimidating people with the threat of war and coup–sowing discord among political forces which endorsed Robert Kocharian during the election–in particular–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and "Yerkrapah".
"An attempt is also being made to create a situation in the presidential staff that would make representatives of different parties involved in it–especially David Vardanian–resign," the paper writes.
It goes on to say that the participants in the meeting assigned the decisive role in "creating the illusion of destabilization in the country’s situation and a possible return of the former power" to the mass media–and that–probably–the editors of the Hayk and Aravot newspapers were instructed to "represent the ANM leader as a victim of political persecutions."
The ANM sharply denied the meeting report.
In an interview with RFE/RL Monday–Siradeghian described the allegations as "absolutely nonsensical," claiming that "the ANM has never been fond of conspiracy tactics."
Another ANM leader–former parliament speaker Babken Ararktsian also refuted the claim–saying that he has not participated in high-level party meetings for several months.
Siradeghian said Monday that his party should drop hopes of Ter-Petrosyan’s return to politics if it is to get stronger. "I don’t believe that Levon Ter-Petrosyan plans to return to active political life," he said. "For the coming five to seven years he has no chances to make a strong election showing and he appears to understand that."
Meanwhile–"Hayots Ashkhar" editor Gagik Mkrtchian on Monday repeated that the report about the alleged secret meeting was credible. "We have no doubts whatsoever that the information was correct," he told RFE/RL.
He said he would disclose the information source only if the ANM takes his paper to court. However–Siradeghian said he will not sue the paper as the allegations were "not serious enough."