Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the second largest in parliament, will not join a new government which is currently being formed by President Serzh Sarkisian, a senior BHK figure insisted on Wednesday.
“No, that is not possible,” Naira Zohrabian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “There is and there can be no such issue on Prosperous Armenia’s agenda.”
Sarkisian, who won a second term in office in February, is due to form his new cabinet by May 10. He reappointed Tigran Sarkisian as prime minister late last month.
There has been speculation in the Armenian media that the BHK could return to the government nearly one year after pulling out of it. The BHK’s exit was widely regarded as a prelude to Tsarukian’s participation in the February 2013 presidential election. However, the tycoon unexpectedly withdrew from the presidential race in December for still unclear reasons.
According to Zohrabian, the BHK has not even negotiated with the president on the possibility of a new power-sharing deal. She said Tigran Sarkisian’s reappointment is enough of a reason for Tsarukian’s party not to rejoin the governing coalition.
“After Tigran Sarkisian, whose economic policy has left the country in this situation, was appointed as prime minister, how can you imagine the BHK holding consultations on being part of the coalition government?” added Zohrabian.
The BHK has strongly criticized the government’s economic record during its campaign for the May 5 mayoral elections in Yerevan. Zohrabian, former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and other senior BHK members reiterated that criticism as they met voters in the city’s southern Shengavit district on Wednesday.
One angry local resident countered that the BHK was part of the government from 2007-2012 and is therefore also responsible for the country’s economic woes. “We never had a majority. We didn’t have full control over the government,” replied Zohrabian.