The parliamentary leaders of Armenia’s four main opposition parties met on Friday to discuss changes in their joint anti-government actions that were necessitated by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s unexpected resignation.
They claimed credit for the development, saying that it is the result of their growing cooperation. “Clearly, the plan of actions drawn up by us and, in particular, our rally slated for April 28 caused the authorities to panic,” said Levon Zurabian of the Armenian National Congress (HAK). “This is the only reason for that resignation.”
The HAK and the Prosperous Armenia (BHK), Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun parties planned to propose a vote of no confidence in Sarkisian’s cabinet on April 28. They also agreed last week to hold three-day rallies in Yerevan in support of that motion. The premier’s resignation has rendered the planned opposition actions meaningless, however.
“The question of the government’s resignation is now out,” Zharangutyun’s Ruben Hakobian told reporters after the meeting. “But joint actions remain on our agenda and we will soon clarify when we are going to take them.”
Hakobian said the four parties agreed to discuss the changed situation separately and then come up with proposals on what they should do now. They are “determined” to keep up their joint efforts and work out “a new agenda,” he said.
“I can only state one thing. We set a goal and we have attained the realization of its first stage. We must now move forward,” Zurabian said for his part.
The HAK and Zharangutyun stand for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation and the conduct of snap national elections. The BHK and Dashnaktsutyun favor a more cautious line, having so far called for only a change of the prime minister and other cabinet members.
BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian reacted cautiously to Tigran Sarkisian’s resignation, saying that it has not created a “totally new situation” in Armenia. Zham.am quoted him as saying that the onus is on the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) to “admit mistakes” and change government policies. Tsarukian also stressed the importance of continued cooperation among the four opposition forces.
Some Armenian media outlets reported that Tsarukian and President Sarkisian met on Friday. The HHK and the BHK did not confirm or refute the information.