The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will sweep to a landslide victory in this spring’s parliamentary elections and solidify its control of the National Assembly, one of its deputy chairmen said on Wednesday.
Galust Sahakian predicted that the party led by President Serzh Sarkisian will have more parliament seats than it has now.
The HHK faction in the current 131-seat National Assembly, which is led by Sahakian, officially numbers 63 members. The presidential party is also backed by about a dozen nominally independent lawmakers.
Speaking at a news conference, Sahakian was asked why the HHK expects to win the May polls by landslide after four years of a Sarkisian presidency blighted by an economic recession and sluggish growth. “Thanks to its arsenal. The people trust not in the Republicans -- they don’t have to trust in any party -- but in their destiny and they look for and find people who can manage their destiny,” he said without elaborating.
Opposition leaders will portray such statements as further proof that the HHK plans to rig the elections. The Republicans already faced fraud allegations when they won the previous legislative vote in 2007. Some of their leaders have said that the upcoming polls will be the most democratic in the country’s history.
Sahakian confirmed another senior HHK figure’s announcement earlier this month that President Sarkisian will personally top the list of the ruling party’s election candidates. He also confirmed that there will more “political figures” among those candidates, presumably at the expense of government-linked businesspeople who make up a considerable part of the HHK’s current parliamentary faction.