Members of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) knew that HAK MP Hrant Bagratyan would run in February's presidential race if Armenia's first President and HAK Leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan decided not to challenge the election, Mr Bagratyan told RFE/RL's Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
The former Prime Minister of Armenia says he maintains relations with Levon Ter-Petrosyan. Recently, Mr Bagratyan called the first president to congratulate him on the New Year and birthday.
As to whether he could not have waited for Ter-Petrosyan's decision for another two days to announce his intention [to stand for president], Hrant Bagratyan said, "I was right in my decision. Like a clown, I twice cancelled the congress of the party. I made the announcement on the second day of my nomination while the candidates were to announce their intention [to run in the election] in November. It does not matter that he [Levon Ter-Petrosyan] yielded his parliamentary mandate to me. I have already thanked him for it. Frankly speaking, I did not want to be involved in the HAK's slate. Ter-Petrosyan said that he would not run for president and I nominated my candidacy. Have I been unscrupulous or dishonest?"