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Tsarukian Party Says Election Bloc Unlikely


Armenia - Gagik Tsarukian speaks at a congress of his Prosperous Armenia Party, 12Feb2011.

Armenia - Gagik Tsarukian speaks at a congress of his Prosperous Armenia Party, 12Feb2011.

Armenia’s second most important governing party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian insisted on Wednesday that it has no plans to form an alliance with President Serzh Sarkisian for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Naira Zohrabian, a senior member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), said the BHK expects to contest the elections slated for next May on its own. She dismissed renewed media speculation to the contrary.

Media reports this month have claimed that Tsarukian will not only reaffirm support for Sarkisian’s reelection in 2013 but also agree to the formation of an electoral bloc comprising the BHK, the presidential Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and the Orinats Yerkir Party, the other partner in the country’s governing coalition.

A senior HHK representative said last week that the three parties are now looking for ways of “cooperating” in the polls.

“There have been no discussions on the joint list [of candidates,] neither within our party nor within the coalition,” Zohrabian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “I can’t understand why the topic has been put into circulation.”

Zohrabian cited in that context an October 3 interview in which Tsarukian said his party intends to participate in the 2012 elections single-handedly. “Nothing has changed or made us reconsider our position,” she said.

In that interview, Tsarukian also pointedly declined to state whom he and his party will support in the 2013 presidential election. The tycoon’s relations with Sarkisian and the HHK reportedly deteriorated after that.

Zohrabian denied, however, any “political pressure” exerted on the BHK. She insisted that Tsarukian maintains a “normal businesslike relationship” with the president.
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