Armenia’s second most important governing party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian announced on Thursday that it will not team up with its coalition partners to contest next year’s parliamentary elections.
“Today the dominant mood in the Political Council of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is that we will contest the parliamentary elections on our own,” Aram Safarian, secretary of the BHK’s parliamentary faction, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“I think that this is also the dominant mood among our rank and file, and there are many reasons for that,” he said.
Naira Zohrabian also made this clear in a separate written statement. “Prosperous Armenia’s political resource is the people’s trust and the BHK will participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections with that most important vote of confidence and with a separate list [of candidates,]” she said.
Talk of the formation of a single electoral bloc comprising the three parties represented in Armenia’ government emerged after Tsarukian pledged to support President Serzh Sarkisian’s 2013 reelection bid in March.
In a joint declaration, the two men as well as Artur Baghdasarian, the leader of the Orinats Yerkir Party, also said that their parties will not challenge each other in the legislative polls due in May 2012. Analysts believe that this effectively put an end to the BHK’s ambitions to win more parliament seats at the expense of Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
Safarian said that the BHK, which has four ministerial portfolios and boasts the second largest faction in the current Armenian parliament, has not yet discussed its electoral strategy and tactic.
“There is no reason to hurry,” he said, adding that the party will start working on its campaign manifesto “probably after the summer holidays.”