YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Following the announcement Tuesday by Heritage party founder Raffi Hovannisian that he will be abandoning his parliament seat came a decision by its executive board to expel three senior members from the ranks.
RFE/RL reported that late Wednesday night, the Heritage board met and made the expulsion decision, basing on the three members’ alleged collaboration with Armenian National Congress led by former President Levon Ter-Petrossian.
“Some members of the board tried to cooperate with and execute orders of another political force and at the same time remain members of Heritage,” the party’s parliamentary leader Armen Martirosian told RFE/RL on Thursday, commenting on the expulsions. “They were also trying to drive Heritage members out of the party.”
Under Armenian law, one of the now expelled Heritage members Movses Aristakesian is next in line to replace Hovannisian as a member of the National Assembly by virtue of his position on the party’s list of candidates in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Aristakesian told RFE/RL on Thursday that he will take up the parliament seat. The third expelled member, Vardan Khachatrian, is already a member of the Heritage party’s faction in the National Assembly.