Vote 2013: Armenian ruling party nominates incumbent president for reelection

President Serzh Sargsyan has been formally named as a candidate for reelection by his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) that held its 14th convention in Yerevan on Saturday.

Delegates attending the gathering unanimously backed the proposal by Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan to nominate the RPA leader, Sargsyan, as a candidate seeking another five-year term as president in the February 18 ballot.

In his acceptance speech Sargsyan revealed his future election motto – Towards a Secure Armenia!

“Our state has become mature and the existing problems require competent and clear solutions as soon as possible,” Sargsyan, in particular, says in his election manifesto. “I assure you that we will live in a much better Armenia in 2018.”

Leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan, who earlier this week effectively bowed out of the presidential race and refused to back any other candidate, was not on the guest list of the convention during which a message from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the formal leader of the ruling United Russia party, was read out. European People's Party Chairman Wilfried Martens, meanwhile, made a video address to the RPA delegates.

Submissions of official nomination papers in Armenia’s presidential election will start on December 25 and end on January 4, after which the Central Election Commission will have another 10 days for the formal registration of candidates.

So far, besides President Sargsyan, Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian, National Self-Determination Union chairman Paruyr Hayrikyan and a group of little-known rookie candidates have announced their intentions to run for president in 2013.

Most opposition political forces, including the Armenian National Congress, have not announced their candidates or format of participation in the elections yet.

For the full speech by President Serzh Sargsyan at the 14th RPA convention (in English) click here: