Armenia’s second most important governing party will not join forces with its coalition partners to contest parliamentary elections due next year, its leader Gagik Tsarukian confirmed on Monday.
“Of course, we will go it alone,” Tsarukian said when asked about election plans of his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).
“If we are the second [largest political] force, why would we do that? It’s smaller forces that should join bigger ones,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
Senior representatives of the BHK as well as the Republican and Orinats Yerkir parties said they might form an electoral alliance shortly after signing a far-reaching declaration in February.
According to that declaration, the three governing parties will not compete against each in the May 2012 parliamentary elections. It also commits them to supporting President Serzh Sarkisian in the next presidential election due in 2013.
Senior aides to Tsarukian announced late last month that the BHK will not after all team up with other political groups for the legislative polls.
The announcement coincided with Sarkisian’s overtures to the main opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), which were criticized by former President Robert Kocharian. The latter has long been regarded as Tsarukian’s political patron.
Tsarukian, who is one of Armenia’s wealthiest businessmen, reiterated that he pledged support for Sarkisian’s reelection bid “so that the president of our country feels stronger in negotiations” with foreign leaders. Asked whether the BHK may still field its own presidential candidate, the tycoon laughed loudly and refused to comment further.