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Tsarukian’s Party Awaits New Government Program


Armenia - Former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian speaks to journalists in Yerevan, 30May2012.

Armenia - Former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian speaks to journalists in Yerevan, 30May2012.

The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is waiting to see the new Armenian government’s program before clarifying whether it is officially in opposition to President Serzh Sarkisian, a top BHK representative said on Thursday.

The party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian decided to pull out of the country’s governing coalition after finishing second in last month’s parliamentary elections. Still, Tsarukian and his associates have so far been careful not to explicitly call the BHK an opposition force. The BHK’s 37-strong faction in the new Armenian parliament has also not clarified its political status yet.

According to former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, who was second on the BHK’s list of election candidates, there will be more clarity on the issue when the new government being formed by Sarkisian submits its program for a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.

“I personally don’t have much hope that something will change because the main personnel change hasn’t occurred. That is, the prime minister [Tigran Sarkisian] has been reappointed,” Oskanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

“I wish there had been some serious cadre changes [in the government] because a team that has carried out economic policy for five years and hasn’t reached success cannot instill trust in the society and business,” he said. “The starting point is already not quite positive.”

“But I don’t want to prejudge things. Let’s wait and see what kind of a program will be submitted,” added Oskanian.

Only Tigran Sarkisian and three government ministers have been formally appointed by President Sarkisian so far. Representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) have said the cabinet’s formation will be completed by June 15.

It also remains to be seen whether Tsarukian’s party will support Sarkisian’s candidacy in next year’s presidential election or field its own candidate.
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