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Tsarukian’s Absence From Parliament ‘Not Political’


Armenia - Deputies from the Prosperous Armenia Party attend a parliament session in the absence of their leader Gagik Tsarukian, Yerevan, 22Jun2012.

Armenia - Deputies from the Prosperous Armenia Party attend a parliament session in the absence of their leader Gagik Tsarukian, Yerevan, 22Jun2012.

A senior aide to Gagik Tsarukian denied on Friday any political reasons for the Prosperous Armenia Party leader’s conspicuous absence from the first sessions of the new parliament.

The National Assembly elected on May 6 has already held several sittings and Tsarukian, who leads its second largest faction, did not attend any of them. In particular, he was not present at this week’s heated debates on the new Armenian government’s program criticized by his party.

Naira Zohrabian, a senior Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parliamentarian, confirmed that Tsarukian is currently in Armenia. She said the BHK leader could not go to the parliament this week because of being “busy with other things.”

“One should not look for sensations or conspiracies,” Zohrabian told journalists, dismissing speculation that Tsarukian is thus emphasizing his dislike of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders.

“Mr. Tsarukian will definitely take part in National Assembly sessions soon,” she said.

The BHK’s parliamentary faction joined the opposition minority in the parliament in voting against the government program on Thursday. Its members, including Zohrabian, strongly criticized the document during the debates.

Deputies from President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) scoffed at the criticism, saying that the BHK is also responsible for the existing situation in the country because it was part of the ruling coalition until this month.

Eduard Sharmazanov, the chief HHK spokesman and a deputy parliament speaker, claimed on Friday that the ruling party was not angered by the BHK attacks. “Anger is not a political category,” he said. “We take [the BHK criticism] very easy.”

“We have normal attitudes to political evaluations by all political forces,” Sharmazanov told a news briefing.

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