Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian played down on Wednesday the significance of continuing cooperation among Armenia’s main opposition parties, saying that he will strive to neutralize it with a strong socioeconomic record.
Abrahamian commented on Tuesday’s meeting between Levon Ter-Petrosian and Gagik Tsarukian, the leaders of two of those parties, which reportedly focused on their joint efforts to challenge his newly formed cabinet. “If I do my job properly, people can be against or for me,” he told journalists. “What should I do if I learn that they are against? Should I tell them to stop criticizing me?”
Asked whether he thinks that Ter-Petrosian’s Armenia National Congress (HAK) and Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) are plotting against him, he said, “I don’t exclude anything. What should I do? I should work well, honestly, transparently.
“They can criticize me as much as they want. The main thing is to ensure that they have no [incriminating] facts to blame me and that we make no wrong decisions.”
“I am convinced that the new [government] team is energetic and patiently trying to move things forward,” added Abrahamian.
The BHK, the HAK and two other major opposition parties represented in the Armenian parliament have made clear that they will reject the new government’s policy program which the National Assembly began debating last week. They have yet to decide whether their deputies will vote against it or boycott the secret ballot.
Asked whether he thinks the four parties can achieve “regime change” in the country, Abrahamian said, “Do they have such a goal? I didn’t know that.”
The premier clearly referred to the BHK’s cautious and at times ambiguous position. While strongly criticizing the previous government’s economic policies, Tsarukian’s party has so far stopped short of publicly demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.