Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) said on Friday that it is close to working out with the country’s three main established opposition parties a plan of joint anti-government actions.
Stepan Markarian, a senior BHK lawmaker, told journalists that their “roadmap,” presumably involving a motion of censure in Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s cabinet, will be published “soon.” He gave no details.
Top representatives of the four parties controlling more than 40 seats in Armenia’s 131-member parliament held more consultations on the cooperation framework earlier in the day. According to Aghvan Vartanian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), they scheduled the next round of talks for March 19.
In a speech last month, Tsarukian urged Dashnaktsutyun and the more radical Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Zharangutyun (Heritage) party to develop, together with his party, a “joint political, social and economic agenda” and a “roadmap” to implement it. But he declined to specify concrete objectives of that plan.
In that regard, the BHK leader stopped short of explicitly calling for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation sought by the HAK and Zharangutyun. He indicated that his party is seeking to unseat only Tigran Sarkisian and the other cabinet members for now.
The HAK and Zharangutyun do not object to this cautious tactics, saying that the government’s resignation would eventually lead to President Sarkisian’s ouster. Ruben Hakobian, Zharangutyun’s deputy chairman, said that the four parties have agreed to seek “regime change step by step.”
The opposition minority in the National Assembly has been working on a joint motion of no-confidence since January. It will almost certainly be rejected by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), which has a comfortable majority in the parliament. Galust Sahakian, the HHK’s parliamentary leader, made this clear on Friday.
“If the Republican Party does not accept that, we will decide what to do next,” said the BHK’s Markarian. “There are certainly many options. We will continue with our actions.”
In a related development, Tsarukian met with Zharangutyun leader Raffi Hovannisian on Friday, the latest in a series of consultations held with his opposition partners. In virtually identical statements, their press offices said the two men discussed “ways of achieving substantial changes in the country.” No other details were reported.