The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) insisted on Wednesday that it is not seeking President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation despite increasingly criticizing his government’s economic policies and cooperating with established opposition groups.
Stepan Markarian, a senior BHK figure, said the party’s leader, Gagik Tsarukian, did not discuss “regime change” with top representatives of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) at a meeting on Tuesday. The BHK believes that the anti-government forces represented in parliament should strive instead for the resignation of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and his cabinet, he said.
Markarian confirmed that the HAK’s parliamentary leader, Levon Zurabian, and two other senior members of Ter-Petrosian’s party reaffirmed its insistence on President Sarkisian’s removal from power at the start of the meeting with Tsarukian. “But nobody addressed the issue after that,” he said.
“The president’s resignation is not on the agenda of the four parties,” Markarian told reporters, referring to the BHK, the HAK as well as the opposition Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun parties. Tsarukian’s party is against trying to topple the president because it wants to spare the country “upheavals,” he said.
Tsarukian began a series of consultations with the three opposition parties late last week after toughening his criticism of the government’s economic track record. The four parties are currently working on a joint motion of no confidence in the government, which is due to be put forward in the Armenian parliament controlled by President Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK).
The BHK has refused to declare itself an opposition party ever since it pulled out of Armenia’s ruling coalition in May 2012. Tsarukian has described it as an “alternative” to the country’s current leadership.