The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the second largest in parliament, said on Monday that it stands for the resignation of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and members of his cabinet but will not seek to unseat them for now.
“The Prosperous Armenia Party’s position regarding the government, the head of the government and the government’s program and political course has not changed,” BHK spokesman Tigran Urikhanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “Yes, we stand for a change.”
Still, Urikhanian made clear that BHK deputies in the National Assembly have no plans to attempt a vote of no confidence in Sarkisian’s cabinet. He said the party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian will take “alternative steps” to challenge the government. He refused to elaborate.
The BHK pulled out of Armenia’s governing coalition shortly after last May’s disputed parliamentary elections in which it finished second behind President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). Its parliamentary faction criticized and voted against a five-year program that was submitted by Sarkisian’s newly reshuffled cabinet to the National Assembly in June.
BHK lawmakers at the same time sided with the parliament’s pro-government majority on a number of major issues in the following weeks. This led some opposition groups to say that Tsarukian and his political team have retained close ties with the Sarkisian administration. BHK representatives have dismissed such statements, while refusing to specify whether their party is in opposition to the Armenian president.
“I have always said that no definition should be imposed on us,” Urikhanian said vaguely when asked about the party’s political status. “Let our steps and actions form that definition among the people.”