The four minority factions in Armenia’s parliament stepped up their coordinated offensive against President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday as they agreed to jointly propose of a vote of no confidence in his government next month.
Parliamentary leaders of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun parties decided to put forward the motion of censure on April 28 during two-hour negotiations. According to the HAK’s Levon Zurabian, they will seek to drum up public support for the initiative in the meantime.
The four parties controlling between them more than a third of the 131 seats in the National Assembly began discussing practical modalities of the no-confidence vote in January. The discussions have highlighted a toughening of the BHK’s cautious position on the Sarkisian administration.
The party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian has had an ambiguous status ever since pulling out of the government in June 2012. It remains careful not to demand Sarkisian’s resignation. BHK leaders say they are seeking to unseat only Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and his cabinet for now. Established opposition groups and the HAK in particular say even this limited objective could eventually lead to “regime change.”
President Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has a comfortable majority in the parliament and is almost certain to block the opposition motion.
Zurabian said the four minority parties will rally supporters to put pressure on the HHK-led majority during parliament debates on the matter. “The authorities will retreat only if the people take to the streets,” he told reporters. “Our objective is to ensure popular mobilization in Liberty Square.”
“Do you think that we are so wretched that we could do something without having any hope?” he said.