The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) indicated on Wednesday that it is ready in principle to form a new coalition government with other political forces despite cruising to a landslide victory in the weekend parliamentary elections.
“Negotiations are now underway,” Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian told reporters when asked about such possibility during official ceremonies marking the 67th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.
Sarkisian refused to specify whether the HHK has invited the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the election runner-up, to enter into a new coalition agreement. “For the moment I will refrain from any evaluations,” he said. “It’s not right to make evaluations now that we are at a point where we need to sum up election results and see what variants there are.”
“Just wait for a few days and everything will be clear,” the premier added while sharing meal with elderly war veterans in Yerevan’s Victory Park.
Galust Sahakian, an HHK deputy chairman, also indicated the ruling party’s readiness to continue to share power with other political groups. “Naturally, there will be agreements,” Sahakian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “But whether or not that will be called a coalition or alliance or just agreement will be decided within days.”
According to official election results, the HHK won 44 percent of the vote, giving it at least 69 seats in the 131-member National Assembly. The BHK, which is represented in Sarkisian’s current cabinet by four ministers, came in second and is expected to have 34 parliament seats.
The BHK has still not commented on the legitimacy of the official vote results and clarified whether it would like to remain in government. But some senior party figures, notably former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, did speak out against cutting a new power-sharing deal with President Serzh Sarkisian earlier this week. Oskanian denounced Sunday’s elections as fraudulent.
The HHK’s Sahakian noted in that regard that the BHK would be wrong to join the opposition camp. “I don’t think they would thereby solve any objective,” he said. “You need experience to be in opposition.”