The four factions representing the parliament minority are determined to press ahead with the motion of no-confidence in the government in the coming weeks, according to a lawmaker representing a major non-governing Armenian party.
Stepan Markarian, a member of Prosperous Armenia (BHK), has told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the motion will not be put on the parliament agenda only on one condition – if the current Cabinet led by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian resigns until April 28.
The lawmaker’s remarks came shortly after Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamian pointedly refused to comment on the issue, emphasizing that no such motion existed yet. At the same time, Abrahamian, who is a senior member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), also found it unlikely that the BHK, which is led by tycoon Gagik Tsarukian, would go beyond demanding the resignation of the government and push for the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian as well.
“On April 28 we are going to make the motion of no-confidence. We will put that issue on the agenda, this is our arrangement. I don’t know why they are having doubts about that,” commented Markarian.
He also dismissed Abrahamian’s assumptions about what the BHK is likely or unlikely to do as inappropriate by a representative of a different party. “I think that what the BHK will do alone or with the three other parties is being decided in a different format,” Markarian stressed.
The BHK has been in consultations with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Heritage and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) during the past several weeks trying to achieve consolidation around a common political agenda with the declared goal of ensuring changes in the country.
So far the four parties have agreed on the motion of censure against the government. Unlike the HAK and Heritage, the BHK and Dashnaktsutyun, which are largely believed to be a political support base of former president Robert Kocharian, have not openly demanded the resignation of President Sarkisian.
Meanwhile, another senior HHK figure, Deputy Parliament Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov described the initiative of the BHK, which is posing itself as an alterative to the current government, and the three opposition parties as a “political bluff”. He, in particular, challenged the wisdom of the move given the absolute majority that the HHK and its junior coalition partner Orinats Yerkir enjoy in the legislature.
“I don’t know what bluffing can be seen here,” Markarian replied. “We have quite a serious intention of doing what we have declared. I find it hard to say what we are going to have in the end. But I hope that the authorities will respond adequately to the issues that we raise and the steps that we take.”