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Ruling Coalition May Sign Another Election Accord


Armenia -- President Serzh Sarkisian (C), Orinats Yerkir Party leader Artur Baghdasarian (R) and Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian sign a new coalition agreement, 17Feb2011.

Armenia -- President Serzh Sarkisian (C), Orinats Yerkir Party leader Artur Baghdasarian (R) and Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian sign a new coalition agreement, 17Feb2011.

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and its two junior coalition partners may sign soon a declaration that will clarify their coordinated actions in the upcoming parliamentary elections, coalition representatives said on Friday.

“At this stage a coalition memorandum could be a secondary element, so to speak,” Hovannes Sahakian, a senior HHK lawmaker, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “Why? Because if the Republican Party and the other coalition parties decide to form an alliance, then the memorandum will be on one plane. If we decide to participate separately, it will be a different memorandum.”

“It will be necessary to head to the elections by boosting the atmosphere of public trust … and not casting doubt on pre-election and post-election processes,” said Sahakian.

Other senior HHK figures said last month that the HHK, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Orinats Yerkir Party will contest the elections separately.

Heghine Bisharian, the deputy chairwoman of Orinats Yerkir, also did not rule out the possibility of a coalition declaration, saying that the parliamentary elections promise to be “quite difficult and tense” for all political forces.

“In this sense, there might be a need to again sign such a document so that all political forces, notably the coalition parties, hold the elections in an atmosphere of peace and mutual tolerance and so that we prevent internal political problems in the country,” Bisharian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

The leaders of the three governing parties already signed in February last year a joint statement in which they pledged not to challenge each other in the 2012 polls. The declaration also backed President Serzh Sarkisian’s plans to win a second term in office in 2013.

BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian subsequently declined to reaffirm the latter pledge. The HHK and the presidential administration has reportedly pressure him to explicitly back Sarkisian’s presidential candidacy.

Sarkisian, Tsarukian and Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian met earlier this week to discuss the May elections and other political affairs.
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