Senior representatives of Armenia’s four main opposition parties said on Thursday that they are still discussing a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s cabinet which they plan to put forward in the parliament.
Leaders of the opposition minority in the National Assembly started considering the initiative in early January, highlighting growing cooperation among their parties. They have yet to reach agreement on legal and political grounds for the government’s resignation that need to be presented to the assembly.
“It’s a big package that includes a common evaluation of the state of affairs in the country and ways out of getting out of it,” said Armen Rustamian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). “We should not just say that things are bad. We should also say how we would change them.”
Ruben Hakobian, the parliamentary leader of another opposition party, Zharangutyun (Heritage), gave a similar explanation. “We want to present the package in a way that would convince people about the alternative proposed by us,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
The parliament is controlled by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and will therefore almost certainly reject the opposition motion. President Serzh Sarkisian has publicly defended his government’s track record despite its failure to meet an ambitious economic growth target that was set by him a year ago.
Levon Ter-Petrosian, the leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), stressed the importance of the planned motion at a rally held in Yerevan on Saturday. Ter-Petrosian referred to it as the first step towards a “gradual” regime change which he said is favored by the HAK’s allies, including Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). He said the four parties could stage a joint anti-government demonstration after working out key terms of the no-confidence proposal.
The BHK responded positively to Ter-Petrosian’s statements. Vartan Oskanian, a senior BHK figure, called for the government’s resignation and the conduct of fresh parliamentary elections earlier this week.