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Tsarukian Coy About Next Opposition Move


Armenia -- Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian (R) and businessman Gagik Tsarukian talk during an opposition rally in Yerevan, 10Oct2014.

Armenia -- Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian (R) and businessman Gagik Tsarukian talk during an opposition rally in Yerevan, 10Oct2014.

Gagik Tsarukian on Thursday declined to clarify the purpose of ongoing anti-government protests staged by his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and its two opposition allies.

It thus remained unclear whether he will add his voice to opposition calls for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation at their next major rally on Friday.

“You all should come to tomorrow’s rally. You’ll be there and hear what we say,” Tsarukian said as he was confronted by reporters outside a sport arena in Yerevan.

Asked whether he will join the leaders of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Zharangutyun party in demanding immediate “regime change” he said, “I’m not going to answer any questions today.”

The HAK’s top leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, called for the conduct of fresh elections at the last rally that was held by the opposition trio in Yerevan on October 10. Tsarukian and his associates sounded more ambiguous on that score.

Gurgen Arsenian, a wealthy businessman and parliament deputy representing the BHK, made clear on Thursday that he is against taking an uncompromising stance against the Sarkisian administration. “The authorities should be given time to realize their constitutional obligations,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Arsenian said that demanding Sarkisian’s immediate resignation is a “naïve tactic.” “We stand for practical and pragmatic actions,” he said.

The BHK, the HAK and Zharangutyun have yet to reveal a joint plan for achieving what they say is their shared objective: “regime change” in Armenia. Tsarukian, Ter-Petrosian and Zharangutyun leader Raffi Hovannisian most probably discussed it at a meeting held on Wednesday.

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