The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) intends to deepen its dominance of the domestic political scene and it would therefore be wrong to challenge it, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said on Wednesday.
“Those parties that will cooperate with us will benefit from that, while those that will not will end up empty-handed,” Sarkisian told journalists. “I want to warn those spreading rumors about the Republican Party that they are badly mistaken in assessing our capacity.
“The Republican Party is today the strongest political force in Armenia and it will not only retain its positions but also strengthen them. Therefore, I think that we must convey this message from our party to our partners, our public,” he said.
Sarkisian did not clarify whether the warning is primarily addressed to opposition forces or the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the HHK’s main partner in the ruling coalition.
The BHK leader, Gagik Tsarukian, fuelled renewed talk of discord within the coalition earlier this month when he pointedly declined to voice support for HHK leader and President Serzh Sarkisian’s plans to win a second term in office in 2013. He commented vaguely on the 2013 presidential election just days after former President Robert Kocharian dropped more hints about his possible return to active politics.
Reports in the Armenian press have claimed in recent weeks that Tsarukian is now under strong pressure from the presidential administration to endorse President Sarkisian’s reelection bid. HHK representatives have implicitly denied them.
Tsarukian already committed himself to supporting the incumbent president in a joint declaration signed with Serzh Sarkisian last February.
Tigran Sarkisian mentioned that declaration on Wednesday. “We are united around the president of the republic,” he said in that context.