The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has revealed plans for a special convention in December to formally field its leader and incumbent president Serzh Sarkisian as a candidate for reelection next year.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov, who also acts as the HHK’s spokesperson, said on Friday that the matter was discussed at a meeting of the party’s executive body the previous night.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am), Sharmazanov denied the party gathering addressed the issue of the Prosperous Armenia Party’s (BHK) support of its nominee in the February presidential election.
“A lot of things are being written about the HHK’s allegedly having set a deadline to the BHK and its leader to make a decision. Such publications are far from being true and have nothing to do with the reality. This is just idle talk,” said Sharmazanov.
The HHK spokesman added, however, that even if a meeting was held between Sarkisian and BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian, that still wouldn’t be something extraordinary. “Because Tsarukian is considered to be a member of the National Security Council. After all, his party is not an opposition, but an alternative,” said Sharmazanov, stressing that no Sarkisian-Tsarukian meeting has been held to deal with the upcoming presidential election.
Asked whether the international reaction to the charges brought against BHK lawmaker Vartan Oskanian, in particular the statements by the United States ambassador to Armenia and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur on Armenia were damaging to Armenia’s international reputation, Sharmazanov said: “Why should Armenia’s reputation be at stake? We say that it is absurd to talk about political motives. Many HHK members are under arrest on different corruption-related charges. And no one has said that this is against the HHK.”