Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian clarified on Tuesday the Armenian government is planning no additional concessions to the opposition after a conciliatory statement made by President Serzh Sarkisian.
Abrahamian insisted that Sarkisian did not instruct his cabinet to meet more opposition demands when he commented on recent rallies staged in Yerevan by the three main parties challenging him.
The president said in televised remarks on Monday that the government should “again address” a list of 12 political and economic demands that were submitted by the opposition trio as well as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation in June.
The government officially responded to those demands in writing on October 1. The leaders of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Zharangutyun parties said the response amounted to a rejection of their ultimatum.
“We are not talking about revising [the government response,]” Abrahamian told the press. “We replied to the 12 points in writing and in great detail and expressed readiness for further discussions if they are needed. If necessary, we can give even more detailed explanations.”
Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), similarly said that Sarkisian indicated his readiness for “dialogue” with his political opponents, rather than bowed to opposition pressure. “This statement shows that the authorities are ready for cooperation,” Sharmazanov told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “The results of that cooperation depend on the behavior of our opposition partners.”
Representatives of the three opposition parties on Tuesday declined to comment on Sarkisian’s statement, saying that they will discuss it and formulate a common position later this week.