Many members of Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) will be campaigning for President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection in next month’s ballot, a top presidential ally claimed on Wednesday.
Tsarukian pulled his party out of Sarkisian’s governing coalition last year and was widely expected to run for president. The BHK announced last month, however, that it will not nominate or support any presidential candidates. The move was widely construed by some analysts as an election boycott.
Galust Sahakian, a deputy chairman of Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), disagreed with such suggestions. “Local branches of not only Prosperous Armenia but other parties are seeking room for cooperation [with the HHK,]” he told a news conference. “I find that natural because we too are doing our best to get our election message across.”
Sahakian stressed at the same time that the ruling HHK is not trying to rebuild bridges with the BHK or seeking Tsarukian’s electoral backing. Tsarukian loyalists themselves are expressing readiness to assist in Sarkisian’s reelection bid, he said.
Sahakian and other senior HHK figures have repeatedly said before that the president’s electoral victory is a forgone conclusion regardless of Tsarukian’s participation in the vote scheduled for February 18.
Also pointedly refusing to join the presidential race were two other opposition forces, the Armenian National Congress and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Unlike the BHK, they explicitly said last month that they will field no candidates because they think that the election will not be democratic.